Tuesday, November 30, 2010

EARTH


Customer appreciation nights is the nicest thing a restaurant can do! Last night I attended EARTH'S customer appreciation night for their loyal customers who had been there and supported them in their first year of business. I can't tell you how nice I think it is that a place would do that - talk about giving back and giving thanks to the people that have been there for them. I think it is a great idea and many restaurants could learn from EARTH'S wonderful night. Filled with passed appetizers, a cheese station and drinks, EARTH'S atmosphere last night was filled with happiness and holiday spirit! EARTH is a very cool restaurant on Yonge St. just north of Rosedale Subway Station. Their motto - Think Global. Eat Local. A great motto for anyone who loves and appreciated food and the wonderful local food we have around us. EARTH this year was also named one of Toronto Life's Top 10 New Restaurants (Toronto) of 2010. Congrats to them! 

The appetizer that I wanted to tell you about though, was what I considered to be a new take on the traditional slider appetizer. EARTH was serving Wellington Country rib eye meatballs on a skewer with a choice of two dips - spicy mustard or homemade ketchup. This is a perfect slider idea, really fun and whimsicle but with a more gourmet twist from the condiments and the quality of the beef. I love new finding new twists on classic appetizers!


 earth
1055 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
416.551.9890


photo credit: globeearth.ca

Monday, November 29, 2010

HOLIDAY COOKIES

The start of Christmas is finally here! With my tree in place and decorations all around I thought it was the perfect time to start some holiday baking that I could bring into work!

To start - what better, than a vanilla thing cookie with a royal icing glaze (coloured of course)!

When looking for recipes I always turn to my dessert Guru's - Anna Olsen and Donna Hay. I wanted something really simple but with good flavour. I settled on Donna Hay's Vanilla Snap Biscuit - which I later decorated with icing instead of just icing sugar.




Here is the recipe for easy holiday cookies!
Vanilla Snap Biscuits from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2

Ingredients:
- 185gms butter

- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- icing sugar to dust

Directions
- Preheat the oven to 350 f
- In a food processor mix the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth
- Add the flour, egg and egg yolk and process until the mixture forms a soft dough
- Take the dough out the processor and knead slightly bringing it together in ball and wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of baking paper until about ½ cm / 5mm thick
- Cut into any shape you want using cookie cutters
- Place cookies on a baking sheet that has been lined with baking paper or silicone baking sheets
- Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown
- Remove the biscuits carefully from the baking tray and allow them to cool on a wire cooling rack as they have a tendency to carry over cooking and could turn too brown once removed from the oven (I generally cool all biscuits on a cooling rack).
- When cooled, dust them with some icing sugar or decorate as desired.





Thursday, November 25, 2010

BOBBETTE & BELLE



A friend of mine recently asked me if I had heard of this new bakery place in Leslieville called Bobbette & Belle. I hadn't heard of it but within two minutes of devouring the website, I was dying to go! I could barley wait until Saturday came to go on an adventure to Leslieville to seek out this shop! Bobbette & Belle is an artisinal pastries shop specializing in fabulous cakes and macaroons. Not only is it a shop to make these cakes, but to design them as well. The cakes featured below are some of the prettiest I have ever seen - who doesn't want a wedding after looking at the possibilties that these girls can give you!


Sarah Bell and Allyson Meredith Bobbitt are the owners and creative minds behind Bobbette & Belle. The two of them have partnered together creating this luxurious shop, inspired by their longstanding love of the French Macaroon and the desire to make it more prominent in the Canadian market. Not only do the cakes look extremley delicious but the macaroons are top notch! Chewy and delicious, a real treat! I tried two different flavours:

Gianduja: Dark chocolate ganache with praline and roasted hazelnuts
Classic: Rich and creamy ganache made with a semi sweet chocolate

But other flavours offered include:
Passionfruit: White chocolate ganache with passionfruit puree
Pecan: Milk chocolate ganache with toasted pecans
Mocha: Espresso buttercream with a hint of chocolate
Caramel: Rich butter caramel with fleur de sel
Vanilla: Madagascar vanilla buttercream
Lime: Tangy lime buttercream with a hint of coconut
Raspberry: Tart raspberry and lemon buttercream

The shop is beyond cool, with a lounge area for cake&macaroon clients to wait to talk to the girls about what they want, and also a table area to talk business. The front station at the window is a cake makign station and a neat idea to have part of the food creating area front and center. The decor is flirty, simple, elegent and pastel-themed. Old china plates, interesting picture frames that house wooden spoons and spatulas line the walls, and the seating feels like you are at an old fashioned tea salon! Very girlie and very fun.



If you are looking to try out a delicious macaroon, find a wedding cake or a macaroon tower, Bobbette & Belle is the spot for you! They will customize the macaroon colour for your event and you can even order these macaroon towers - a great addition to a sweets table at a wedding, special event or even they suggest as an alternative to a traditional wedding cake.


If you are heading to Leslieville, this is a must visit spot!

photo credit: my own & bobbette and belle website

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AMERICAN THANKSGIVING

Happy American Thanksgiving!


My step-mom is American and American Thanksgiving in her house in a BIG deal! They have a "Turkey Bowl" every year, a big football game - one for the adults and one for the kids during the Thanksigivng weekend festivities.

When I was making Canadian Thanksigiving dinner this year I asked my three younger siblings (who are also half American) what is something they loved eating at American Thanksgiving in Chicago?

The answer: cornbread.

What could be a better thanksgiving sidedish than warm cornbread. I made this dish for my thanksgiving this year, but I will share the recipe with you for American Thanksgiving as it is a classic American sidedish - one that the Food Network Stars just can't get enough of this holiday! Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) and Paula Deen are the two Food Network gals who I think can cook this side dish the best! Paula is from the South, so cornbread is what she does best!

Paul Deen's Extremley Easy Cornbread

Ingredients:
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos, or to taste

Directions:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease an 8-inch square pan, cast iron skillet, or cornbread mold.
- In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- To dry mixture, add egg, milk, sour cream, oil, and jalapenos and mix until smooth.
- Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden.

 
What are your favourite Thanksgiving side dishes?


photo credit: foodnetwork.com & google images

Sunday, November 21, 2010

WISH I WAS A LOCAL AT LOCAL KITCHEN & WINE BAR

I don't think I could have possibly been more lucky then I was Saturday night! With a late decision to go out for dinner - I was only really in the mood for two places - Buca or Local Kitchen & Wine Bar. I just didn't want to go out unless I was trying something new for the blog - and Buca and Local Kitchen are the top two places on my list. Buca, obviously was reserved up on a Saturday night, and I know that Local Kitchen doesn't take reservations so I figured I would call and just see what wait times are around 8:30-9. When I called, I was told wait times were usually about an hour, and then just out of my own curiosity I inquired about the "chef's table" as I had seen it on their website. The chef's table is a table at a bar in the back of the restaurant at the chef's cooking station. You talk with the chef, telling your likes and dislikes and then for the rest of the night you are treated to their culinary magic. When the lady told me that the 9 o'clock reservation (the only reservation they take is for the chefs table) had just cancelled I thought I had died and gone to heaven! What were the chances - I said yes right away and endured a long four hours of excitement until dinner at Local Kitchen!


Local Kitchen is a Parkdale hit - recently named one of En Route's Canada's Best New Restaurants of 2010, and Toronto Life's 2010 Best New Restaurants, this place is just pure genius! Run by Michael Sangregorio and Fabio Bondi they have create Local Kitchen's vibe to recreate the comfortable, inviting, family atmosphere of an Italian wine bar. Layered with a love for food, a respect for food&localism and a passion for the community, Sangregorio and Bondi have succeeded in creating a go-to destination for the Parkdale (and now Toronto) community.


Arriving in Parkdale, we pulled up to a dimly lit cozy looking spot with a glowing chandelier in the front window - very inviting! We were lead to our "table" two comfy bar seats at the chef's working station at the end of the restaurant (but you are still apart of the restaurant - not sitting in the kitchen!). We were asked if we had any special dietary needs, and if we ate everything. When we said yes we were told that we had no ordering to do and that we would be presented with a tasting of the restaurants wonderful dishes.


Now, to the food. We started our night off with an Ontario Burrata cheese (much like a bufala di mozzarella but creamy, rich and luxurious with a ricotta filling) accompanied with a basil pesto, a sun dried tomato pesto and some buttery toasted bread. From there we were served a little mini one biter of a in-house cured sardine on top of little crostini with arugula. I have never thought I was a sardine fan - but after one bite, I was convinced. Beautiful cured with lemon, olive oil, sat - this little morsel of fish was a real treat. We then watched them make Steak Tartare - one of my ultimate favourite dishes. Seasoned perfectly with delicious pieces of crispy pig cheeks (also made in house) and a quail egg on top! Can you say perfect? After our lovely appetizer dishes we had a bit of a breather pre-pasta course - and good thing we did, because these were hands down two of the most delicious pastas I have ever had - so simple and different, they were the star of the show by far!


The first pasta we were served was something unlike any other ravioli type pasta I have had. As Joanne Kates said, "these are pasta dishes that will reinvigorte a love afair with noodles." Beet & Ricotta Francobolli with mint and toasted breadcrumbs in a butter sauce. Pure heaven it was! Each aspect of the dish created the perfect combination for a pasta dish - the beet and ricotta filling was so delicate yet the flavours still shone through, you got the refreshing bite of mint and a little texture from the breadcrumbs with a smooth butter sauce. Genius! The second pasta we indulged in was a Smoked Potato Gnocchi with Telleggio cheese and Rapini. How I adore rapini, and what a perfect accompaniment to a simply done pasta with cheese. Lovely!



From here - more I know, can you even believe it? We indulged in both of the mains that Local Kitchen has to offer - a Wild Ontario Lakefish with a Zuppetta di Pepe, Olive and Capers (a sort of spicy pepper stew) and Rowe Farms Steak with Roasted Squash & Apple. I am not generally a fish lover, but the lightness of the fish mixed with the richness of the extremely flavourful stewed peppers made for a perfect combination. The steak was perfectly cooked and the roasted squash and apples played on the wonderful comfort food theme of winter. By this point I was almost full but I knew I had to save room for dessert - and I am so glad I did. The dolci (dessert in Italian) changes daily - but we indulged in two delicious pieces of blue Quebec cheeses with honey, maple syrup and toasted walnuts along with two different biscotti, the start of the two being chocolate with a nutella filling. We had three people who worked there tell us how much they loved this dessert and how popular it was - how could anything with nutella not be?!

And that is when our culinary tour through perfect Italian foods ended. I hope I have succeeded in making you drool for delicious Italian food and convinced you that Local Kitchen MUST be at the top of your list! Local Kitchen, is simple yet decadent. The insanley cool Italian inspired decor with rustic wood ovals as serving plates just heightens your experience. The food is locally grown, Italian inspired and presented like piattini (small plates) perfect for sharing. Their focus is salumi (Italian charcuterie) that is cured in house and sourced from Stratford, Ontario. My favourite part about Local Kitchen is their dedication and their desire to "maintain a fundamental respect for their food, where it comes from, and the people who help cultivate it." (Local Kitchen) You can feel the love, passion and enthusiasm in Local Kitchen and as an insane foodie myself, I adore being lucky enough to eat in an establishment like Local Kitchen. Congratulations for your huge success and I hope to be back soon. Torontonians - get your bums out to Parkdale asap!!

Local Kitchen & Wine Bar
1710 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
416 534-6700

photo credit: localkitchen.ca & my own & toronto life & en route

Saturday, November 20, 2010

JAMIE O DOES T.O


Ok so now to it - Jamie Oliver in Toronto! What a night! Here to promote his new book Jamie's America, to cook two recipes from it and to talk with the people of Toronto - answering a ton of q&a's. The evening was a giant success, held at Toronto's Metro Convention Center - there were 3,000 people there! Congratulations to the Art of Cooking for hosting such a successful event! It was great to hear Jamie talk about his love of cooking and the Food Revolution!



The two recipes Jamie made for us were a steak with two sauces from his time in LA and a Peruvian ceviche from his time in New York. I want to share the ceviche recipe with you - as it is something so fresh and delicious, but something I bet people rarely make!!


Note: Ceviche is a popular South American fish dish, that is made by marinating raw fish in citrus juices such as limes, lemons, orange etc.


Peruvian Ceviche



Ingredients:
- 14 oz sea bass, flounder, sole or snapper, inbonned, skinned and filleted
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper seeded and finely chopped
- 2 scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
- juice of 3 lemons
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1-2 fresh chiles, seeded and finely chopped
- 8 sprigs of fresh mint
- 8 sprigs of fresh cilantro
- large handful mustard cress or alfalfa
- extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper


Directions:
- Cut your fish into 1/2 inch cubes. Put these into a bowl with your chopped bell peppers and scallions. Cover and place into the fridge just until you need them.
- In a separate bowl mix together the lemon juice, salt, and chiles. Then cover and put into the fridge to chill too.
- Finally, wash and dry your herbs and cress.
- You can assemble the ceviche just before your guests are ready to eat. It's important that you don't leave the fish marinating for too long - you don't want the acids in the juices to cook the fish.
- Pour the lemon dressing over the fish mixture and immediately mix up. Leave to sit for about 2-3 minutes.
- Throw most of the herb mixture into the bowl with the fish and do a quick toss together.
- Divide the ceviche between your 4 plates, gently spoon over a little of the dressing and sprinkle with the rest of the herbs.
- Drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with some freshly ground black pepper.


photo credit: my food partner-in-crime kate

Friday, November 19, 2010

CAKESPY


I recently stumbled across the most enthusiastic and cool site devoted to sweets! CAKESPY – whose motto is "Seeking Sweetness in Everyday Life.”



Cakespy.com is a Dessert Detective Agency dedicated to seeking sweetness (literally) in everyday life. They do this by writing about bakeries, conducting baking experiments and picking the brains of bakers and food artists, and finding awesome products for lovers of baked goods! The Cakespy crew is headed up by Jessie Oleson, Head Spy. She is a freelance writer and illustrator and she recently opened up a retail CakeSpy Shop in Seattle.

While poking around on Cakespy I realized there was a place to contribute – so I sent over none other than my fabulous Pavlova recipe. Jessie has featured it on Cakespy.com and here is the link to check out Emma's Eatery on Cakespy! http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2010/11/15/australian-sweetness-a-pavlova-recipe-from-cake-gumshoe-emma.html

I though I would do a little reciprocal blogging and do a quick Q&A with Jessie about her love for baked goods!

Emma B.: How did you first come to love cakes (and sweets)?
Jessie Oleson: It appears to be something I inherited from my parents. My mother is an avid baker, and both my mother and father are avid eaters of sweets. I blame them!

EB: Where did the idea for “Cakespy” come from?
JO: Well. Before I was a professional Cake Gumshoe, I was the art director at a refrigerator magnet company (no, really). While I got "fed" artistically, I felt that I was missing out on other passions. So I sat down one day and thought to myself: "can I do something that unites all of my greatest loves: writing, illustration, and baked goods?". The spy idea came to me because at the time I was about to get married and was running around town trying all the wedding cake places and felt like an undercover spy trying to find the best one. I figured I would start a blog centered around these things I loved while I figured out what I "really" wanted to do. Little did I know this humble little blog could be the springboard for all of the wonderful things I've been able to do since that day!
EB: What is your job as Head Cake Spy, dessert detective?
JO: As Head Spy at a dessert detective agency, my job is to seek out things that make life sweeter--in my case, they tend to be bakery finds, recipes, and sweet art--and share my findings with the world. My goal? To make the world just a little sweeter.

EB: What is your favourite part about the job?
JO: The fact that I am always doing something related to one of my three greatest loves: writing, illustration, and baked goods.

EB: Any tips for baking lovers out there?
JO: Butter makes everything better.

For more on Jessie & Cakespy visit cakespy.com and explore the endless, wonderful possibilities of baking. The site presentation alone is enough to make you want to always come back for more! Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

JAMIE OLIVER: 2010 TED PRIZE WINNER


TED Prize: Wishes big enough to change the world

The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and much more important, “One Wish to Change the World.” Designed to leverage the TED community’s exceptional array of talent and resources, the Prize leads to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impacts.

I am proud to say that the 2010 TED Prize Winner is Jamie Oliver.

Jamie is just a tremendous chef and international nutrition advocate. It is his commitment and passion to what he does that will one day help us change the way we eat, discover, learn and make food which in turn will help with the distressing obesity epidemic. Jamie has truly started a movement that will transform the way “we” feed our children on a global scale, through his cookbooks, shows etc he is changing the face of school lunches.

Watch Jamie's TED Prize Talk:



The Wish: “I wish for your help to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

The Plan: Set up an organization to create a popular movement that will inspire people to change the way they eat. The movement will do this by establishing a network of community kitchens; launching a travelling food theater that will teach kids practical food and cooking skills in an entertaining way and provide basic training for parents and professionals; and bringing millions of people together through an online community to drive the fight against obesity. The grassroots movement must also challenge corporate America to support meaningful programs that will change the culture of junk food.

The Needs:
• Help to establish the organization, with funding, office space and facilities.
• Find partners to equip and run the community kitchens, and food suppliers to provide the fresh ingredients.
• A partner to build and maintain a fleet of food theatre trucks.
• Education experts, graphic designers, artists and writers to develop and produce creative, fun teaching materials.
• Communications experts to create messaging for the movement.
• Web designers and developers to create and build the website.
• Establishment of a food line that generates a sustainable income for the movement.
• Corporate partners to invest in cooking and food education for their customers and champion honest food labelling.
• Your names added to the petition to challenge our leaders to make change now: http://www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com/petition

Want to help Jamie’s wish somehow? Go to http://www.tedprize.org/ to see what you can do to help!

TEDx: THE FUTURE OF FOOD


Have you ever heard of TED? If you haven’t, you need to! TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED supports those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. People who have spoken at TED include, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Jamie Oliver, and Isabel Allende.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Luckily enough, Toronto will be hosting their own TEDx day THIS December. The conference is called TEDx Hart House: “The Future of Food and will be held at Toronto’s Hart House. The event is December 6th at 6:00pm. The Future of Food will explore some of the factors we must weigh as we choose what foods make it into our shopping carts. With the rise of issues like ethical eating, factor farming and food scarcity, the world is awakening to how we sow, grow, raise, reap, slaughter, transport, distribute, buy, share, cook, eat and dispose of food.”

Four experts will speak at TEDx – sharing their views on two-tiered food systems, food sharing, local food movements and sustainability. Those speaking will be Jason Qu, Lauren Baker, Jeffrey Crump and Bettina Schorman.

Interested in this event? Do you love things like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution? Well here you go – this is the place to learn even more and at an attainable local level. This is the exact type of events we need today! Share your love of food with others by learning more on what you can do!

To learn more about this great conference visit: http://www.harthouse.ca/culture/tedxharthouse

To fill out an application to be one of the 100 people in the audience go to:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dFNlSnlybTYzMmN1a0QzRnBYWmhmT3c6MQ

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

TOP 5 FALL/WINTER INGREDIENTS


I'd like to share my top 5 ingredients for the late fall/winter months! Sometimes just being able to focus in on a few key items helps can really help in meal planning and recipe searching!

MY TOP 5 FALL/WINTER MUST-HAVE INGREDIENTS
1) Squash
2) Mushrooms
3) Cranberries
4) Risotto
5) Sage

Let me now share with you some great ways to use and combine these top five ingredients of mine!

1) Squash
The quintessential image of fall and Christmas. Squash has so many wonderful ways to be enjoyed and here are some ideas how:
- Squash, Onion & Garlic Soup
- Squash, Sage, Pancetta Risotto (combination of my top three right here)
- Roasted squash as a side dish to a meat

2) Mushrooms
I just love mushrooms more and more each day, and one of my favourite parts about them is their versatility! They can truly be used in so many ways, salads, soups, main courses, stuffing's, you name it!
- Mushroom risotto (a winter classic)
- Side dish of mushrooms in a cream, brandy and thyme sauce
- Warm and crispy mushrooms to top off a winter salad (with some pomegranate seeds for colour and as a fresh cool contrast)

3) Cranberries
I know I know, all you can think about when you hear the word "cranberry" is your grandma's cranberry sauce for the turkey! But cranberries with the right amount of  sugar can be wonderfully delicious and used it different ways!
- As a decoration in a champagne glass or in a bowl of festive punch
- A really nice cranberry compote type sauce can be used for a turkey, brie cheese and cranberry sandwich (throw a few leaves of nice and crunchy arugula in there for some peppery flavour)
- A perfect Christmas crowd pleasing appetizer: phyllo pastry cup with melted brie cheese and whole cranberries

4) Risotto
The warmest wintertime dish. Nothing says Italian comfort food like risotto. And the best part about this dish, the possibilities are endless! You can truly put any flavours you like into the basic risotto recipe!
- The squash, sage, pancetta risotto
- Wild mushroom risotto (really try and get a good selection of different mushrooms, the more, the tastier!)
- Green risotto: filled with peas, basil, edamame, fresh parmesan

5) Sage
I adooreeee sage! It is such a wonderful herb, so fragrant and so good!
- Ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce
- Sage, pancetta, water chestnut stuffing for roast chicken or turkey
- Pork chops with an apple and sage glaze with caramelized onions

I hope these recipe ideas have sparked some thinking, enthusiasm and recipe excitement!
For tips on these recipes just leave me a comment and I will be sure to get back to you! Enjoy and happy fall/winter!

CUCINA DELL ARTE


After a fabulous weekend in Florida, I could not finish it off without blogging about our favourite place in town. Cucina Dell Arte, the place-to-be in Palm Beach is not only a fabulously delicious Italian restaurant but it is the bar to be at after-hours. "Cucinas" to the locals and anyone who has spent time on the island is a laid-back, friendly, well-run restaurant. Not only is the food terrific, but the owner Nick is what makes your night! He is the friendliest restaurateur whose professionalism and love for the industry shines through not only at Cucinas but at his other two places in town. Always wanting to make your visit to his restaurants the best, he never fails to disapoint. Cucinas is just such a fun spot, with a neat Mediterranean type decor, and hanging chandeliers. It is a spot intended for everyone - families, date nights, parties, New Years, you name it! Perfect for the early family crowd, Cucinas is able to then transform into the hottest spot in town at night. You do not want to miss the ball drop here at New Years!


So menu highlights that are not to be missed:
Mushroom Raviloi with Spiny Lobster in a Cognac Cream Sauce (seriously to die for, with a little truffle essence, yum!)
Roasted Beet Salad with pistachios, avocado and a simple vinaigrette
Beef Carpaccio with arugula, parmesan, artichokes in a lemony vinaigrette
Short Ribs in a red wine sauce
Bisteca Maria Rossa: a delicious Bush Brother's steak, grilled to perfection with a salted herb crust. A honest to god must try at this place, it will just melt in your mouth!

We just love this spot and hope you will too!

Cucina Dell Arte
257 Royal Poinciana Way
Palm Beach, FL
(561) 655-0770

photo credit: cucina

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TRUFFLES

After my delicious truffle filled dinner at Frank’s Kitchen, I thought it quite appropriate to talk about the truffle and my love for such a delicacy.


A truffle is a rare, edible mushroom, harvested in the wild and extremely expensive!! They have no relation to the chocolate truffle - but they could not be more delicious! Truffles require climates with mild weather changes, so they grow in a limited number of places that include France, Italy, Croatia, some parts of the United States, Middle East and North Africa. They grow about a foot below ground, near the roots of oak, elm, chestnut, pine and willow trees. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, sometimes smooth but generally bumpy and wrinkled looking.

Truffle hunting is a big business that usually lasts from fall to spring. Each year, trufficulteurs use specialty-trained dogs to find these “buried treasures.” This generally takes place at night!

There are a few varieties of truffles with the two most famous being:

The White Truffle
Comes from Northern Italy and most famously from the countryside of the city Alba. It can also be found in Croatia. Italian white truffles are highly esteemed!


The Black Truffle
“Black Périgord truffle” is named after the Périgord region in France which grows these truffles exclusively with oak.


Now to the best part, using truffles in cooking! Because of truffles' high price, they are generally used quite sparingly. White truffles are generally served raw (as when it is cooked it looses its strong natural flavour) and shaved over pasta or salads. White or black paper thin truffle slices are often put into meats, or under the skins of roasted fowl, in fois gras preparations, pâtés or in stuffing’s. They are also used in some specialty cheeses. Truffle oil is an alternative to a fresh truffle as the cost in lower, yet it provides the flavoring to enhance a truffle aroma in cooking and can be used for just about anything. Fresh truffles are generalyl found at the end of fall into mid-winter, but quite often only available in specialty stores. When selecting a truffle, make sure it is firm, with a fragrant aroma, blemish free and well-textured. It is best to eat truffles as soon as possible because they are quite perishable!

Here is a great idea with the use of truffle oil - inspired from a pizza I had last night.

Truffle Filled Pizza: A basic pizza dough - white (so no sauce) with some fresh mozerella baked onto the pizza. Then top the pizza with wonderful bitter arugula, fresh shavings of parmesan, proscuitto strips and drizzle with truffle oil. If you have the good stuff, shave those truffles on top! Now that is a delicious truffle filled meal!

photo credit: google images


BEER AND BUTTERTARTS

Beer and Butter Tarts is a food blog aggregator dedicated to the food and drink scene across Canada.
By compiling RSS feeds from participating food bloggers, they act as an aggregator to pull Canadian food blogs and writing all together in one place. This makes it easier for readers interested in food and food blogs to find new and interesting bloggers, and helps food bloggers across the country promote their site and attract new readers.

EMMA'S EATERY has been accepted to join Beer and Butter Tarts! My posts will now be a part of this food-loving collection. Check it out and check out EMMA'S EATERY at BEER AND BUTTERTARTS,

Enjoy and thank you Beer and Buttertarts for this great opportunity!


 photo credit: beerandbuttertarts.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TOP 10 COOKBOOKS OF 2010

Looking for a good new cookbook, but not sure what to pick among the endless rows of cookbooks at the store? Well, thanks to editors at Amazon.com, we are lucky enough to know their top 10 picks for cookbooks this year! I have heard about a few of them, but I will be googling the rest looking for the next best one to buy! My Christmas list this year is quickly becoming just cookbooks!



1) Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2) The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century by Amanda Hesser

3) The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, and Peter Meehan

4) Thai Street Food by David Thompson

5) Pig: King of the Southern Table by James Villas

6) Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen by Amy Pennington

7) Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

8) Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis

9) In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love by Melissa Clark

10) Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by René Redzepi

Which one do you think looks the best?!




photo credit: amazon.ca & jameschatto.com