Browsing: Restaurant Features

Sunday Brunch

May5

This past Saturday night my husband and I did something that we rarely do-we ordered Chinese food from Kai Ping on our corner and got a couple of episodes viewed of our “Lost” collection.  As Daughter #2 headed out the door-her message was a plea: “Order lots and please save me some”.  First mistake: we only ordered 3 dishes and second: since we had not eaten a meal since breakfast and the food was delicious and piping hot, there was only one measly portion or curried vermicelli noodles left over.  We often discuss what we are going to cook up for Sunday brunch on our way home from church and it was abundantly clear that Daughter #2 had her heart set on Chinese food leftovers.  My husband and I are consistent in our displays of affection with food-so he leapt into action.

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In minutes we were sitting down to honey garlic veal and what little was left from the night before.  Daughter #2 was thrilled with the effort and thinks her Daddy is the greatest-and he is.

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He tossed veal scallops in flour and shallow fried them in oil in the wok.  Next he mixed sauteed garlic, honey, water and soya together to a slow boil and then added cornstarch to thicken.  The portions are really to taste-some liking saltier, sweeter, garlickier…..IMG_0479

Perhaps you were thinking I was going to list some of our favourite Sunday breakfast/brunch spots.  Well not to disappoint, they are: The Falefel House, The Garwood Grill or any of the Original Pancake House locations and for those very special occasions The Hotel Fort Garry!  Please leave a comment indicating your fav place for Sunday breakfast/brunch.

Kath’s quote: “The sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousness
and in the taste confounds the appetite.” –
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliette).

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That Old Black Magic

April28

There was a time in Winnipeg when my favourite restaurant was the Pasta la Vista downtown location.  Whenever I had to meet a client or had a special work-related celebration, I would suggest it.  In addition, it was the place where we had our last family restaurant celebration before my Dad passed away, so it holds particularly sweet memories.

The title above was my favourite menu item.  When WOW Hospitality put out a cookbook through Studio Publications a number of years ago, I could not wait to get my hands on this recipe. 

2 T canola oil

1.2 roasted red pepper, julienned

2 lbs. Mussels, cleaned and debearded

1 line, quartered

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1 T minced garlic

1 T sambal olek

1 t salt

½ t pepper

½ c fish sauce

40 pieces 41/50 count shrimp, peeled & deveined

1.2 c white wine

4 T butter

2 ½ lbs. Cooled squid ink fettuccine (or other if cannot be obtained)4903357_s

Frazzled leeks (recipe below) OR in a pinch French’s Fried Onions

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil & add the peppers, mussels, lime, jalapeño, garlic & samba olek.  Sauté for one minute before adding the salt, pepper and fish stock.  Cover & simmer for 2 minutes.  Add shrimp and wine and cook until the mussels are open.  Add the butter & pasta & simmer for 2 minutes until the pasta is heated through.  Remove from heat.  Place in a serving dish and garnished with frazzled leeks.

4 c canola

¼ lb. leeks, julienned & soaked in cold water

¼ lb flour

½ t salt

¼ t ground black pepper

In a large pot or wok, preheat oil to 360 degrees.  Drain water off leeks and shake off all moisture.  In a large bowl, toss the leeks in flour until evenly coated.  Shake off excess flour.  Carefully place small handfuls of leeks into the oil.  Be careful not to overfill as the oil will bubble up when the leeks are added.  Stir the leeks with metal tongs until they are golden brown and crispy.  Lift the leeks out of the oil and place onto a cloth or paper towel to absorb the oil.  Repeat with remaining leeks.  Season with salt & pepper & store in a dry place.

Kath’s quote:“Well loved he garleek, oynons, and eek lekes. And for to drinken strong wyn, reed as blood.”Geoffrey Chaucer (1340 – 1400) ‘Canterbury Tales’

Vietnamese Rice Rolls

April1

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There are many excellent Vietnamese restaurants in Winnipeg: Viva and Thanh Huong (both on Sargent) and Pho 1 (on Isabel) are a few of our favourites.  KG Saigon (also on Sargent) was recommended just recently.  But it is Little Saigon on William Ave. where we’ve been going to for years.    When my office was on the same street,  I enjoyed it frequently with colleagues for lunch.  More recently, it is a place that the three sisters take our Mom for a night out.  We really enjoy their Salt and Pepper Shrimp.  This is the place that I first tasted Vietnamese rice rolls.  I am allured by the fresh taste of the herbs and veggies and of course by my favourite taste combination of salty/sweet. 

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Tonight we are having a guest for dinner that I thought might enjoy them.  I did most of the preparations before I left for my baby hugging shift.  Then when I got home, I just had to soak the noodles and the rice wrappers.

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These are the ingredients that you assemble for do-it-yourself rolls:  romaine lettuce leaves, sliced cucumber,  fresh mint leaves, fresh cilantro leaves (optional) and bean sprouts (which I did not have on hand).  Saute thinly sliced pork or chicken that has been marinated in a sauce such as hoisin.  Cover with peanuts that have been crushed with brown sugar.  Put out additional sauces like peanut and sweet chili. 

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Here is the recipe for a Vietnamese dipping sauce which is always a hit:  Dissolve 3 T of sugar in 2 T lime or lemon juice, add ¼ c rice vinegar, ¼ c fish sauce , 1 clove garlic and some chili flakes to taste.  Zap them together in a blender.

Kath’s quote: “To see cucumbers in a dream denotes that you will speedily fall in love. Or, if you are in love, then you will marry the object of your affection.”-Richard Folkard in ‘Plant Lore’

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La Fiesta Cafecito

March29

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La Fiesta Cafecito is owned by Jose and Sonia Valdez who are from El Salvador.  Since Daughter #2 travelled to El Salvador to do humanitarian work a couple of years ago, we were happy to learn more about their regional cooking.  Pupusas are at the top of the list of their signature platters so we knew that would be one of our selections.  But because we love to try little tastes of lots of things we decided to order a combination platter that included two Pupusas, one chicken burrito and one beef enchilada.  The meal started with a chicken tortilla soup which satisfied my craving for a comfort food because I was nursing a cold. 

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We are accustomed to this recipe with lime, chiles and cilantro but this was a savoury alternative.  We detected a sprinkling of Tajin Classico in the bottom of our bowl which is one of our regular purchases on trips to Mexico. 

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We were quite sure that Jose indicated that we were getting one Queso Pupusa and One Chicarrones y Queso (pork and cheese) Pupusa but when we forked into the non-Queso one, it was definitely filled with Frijoles (beans).  I preferred the Queso one and my bean-loving (and deprived) husband preferred the Frijoles.  The chicken burrito was stuffed with a savoury mixture of onion, rice and chicken.  The beef enchilada though was unusual with a ladle of a “beef bolognaise style” sauce on top of a flaky pastry shell style base.  On top of this sat a wedge of hard boiled egg!  When in Rome….  Daughter #2 returns from South Africa in the next couple of weeks and we plan to return to La Fiesta to recreate her El Salvadorian adventure.

Kath’s Quote: “This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate the eggs, but it doesn’t say how far to separate them.”-Gracie Allen


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Sister #3 Isla Mujeres (Part 2-Olivia’s)

March23

Sister # 3: “While the traditional regional cuisine on Isla Mujeres is amazing, there is also a huge variety of fare available because people from around the world have discovered this little Island and now call it home.

Olivia's

March 2010

Olivia’s Israeli owner/operators offer a nice variety of good Mediterranean food including moussaka and kebab.” 

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Added by Kathryne: We were so excited to try Olivia’s in March 2008, that we accepted a table right in front of the restaurant’s open kitchen.  The result was that we were engulfed by the smoke from the open fire.  This did not dampen our appreciation of their well made mojitos or carefully prepared food.  We tried their spanakopita, moussaka and Moroccan fish on couscous.Olivia's

Moraccan Fish

Moroccan Fish

In February 2009 we were fortunate to make a reservation for the best table in the house.  There is a beautiful, large square table at the rear of the restaurant which is under a thatched canopy where enjoyed another  lovely dinner .

Sisters 1-3 Under the Palapa

Sisters 1-3 Under the Palapa

On my next visit, I intend to try their Shawarma.  This was one of my favourite meals when I travelled to Israel a decade ago.  I still recall the glistening juices as the meat portion was shaved off of the rotating spit.  We had stopped at a roadside diner outside of Jerusalem.  Their version was served with crunchy veggies and a variety of sauces-the memory of the taste is still very vivid.

Kath’s Quote: “Don’t take a butcher’s advice on how to cook meat.   If he knew, he’d be a chef.” -Andy RooneyHeart-soap-large

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