The Last Supper Club Pop-Up

Hi again food friends! 

Too long since my last post but I’m back! 

A few weeks ago I attended the first of what I hope will be many pop-up events to come, The Last Supper Club was a blindfolded 5 course dinner put on by The Bhudda Boys. As soon as I saw this food event I was so excited! I quickly sent them a message via the Eventbrite site to ensure that my allergies wouldn’t get in the way, after all I didn’t want this to truly be my Last Supper 😉  

The venue was Studio 96, situated between Little Italy and China Town. When I checked the address, and before arriving, I really wasn’t sure what to expect of the venue as this area of the city can be a little “colourful” (I actually grew up in this area when we first moved to Edmonton). The venue was beautiful! It was a 100 year old abandoned church that was slated for demolition when it was rescued from impending doom and repaired and converted into an event space. It was large enough to comfortably hold the crowd (I’m guessing about 80?) seated in a large U, but still held an intimacy that made the dinner feel like we were dining with close friends and family. 

Once all the guests arrived (and I truly felt like we were guests at chef Daniel’s personal table) we were greeted by Chef Daniel Huber who explained how the evening would unfold. We were instructed that we would wear the provided blindfolds for each course and then when the plates were cleared we could remove the blindfolds and make notes of what we thought each dish consisted of. Between each course we would also be served a beverage that paired with the meal. 

Once we were all blindfold the first course came out. Putting our hand cautiously to the table in front of us we could feel a paper bag. Reaching in it was a familiar item, light, crisp, buttery, salty… It was popcorn! Probably the best popcorn I’ve ever had! Was that because one of my senses was removed so I was tasting it differently that I ever had before? It had more too it than just some cinema snack though and without site somehow hard to put your finger on what that flavor was that you couldn’t quite place. A fun first course to be sure. There was a buzzing energy throughout the room. Laughter from many, and conversations with our fellow patrons that wouldn’t be common at a typical restaurant dining room. 

The second course was served and was not quite as easy to dig into as the first. With a little panic in her voice I heard the lady sitting next to me exclaim “it’s soup!” Now eating soup with a blindfold, that’s an adventure. It was velvety in texture, had a smoky note to it, and seemed creamy. It was delicious. Again I couldn’t quite figure out what the ingredients were that kept us all dipping our spoons until our bowls were clean. 

Course #3 arrived and I gingerly put my fingers to the plate. Sticking my finger in something cool and creamy I licked it off. By this time I had abandoned my cutlery to be able to “see” my food with my fingers. It was a creamy, cheesy salmon atop a crisp cracker. A hint of dill was there too. Quite tasty and we all devoured the creation. 

The next course arrived and had a few puzzled. I heard a few quesses from the people around me. Someone thought maybe it was tofu, some thought cornbread. I knew after the first bite that it was polenta. Topped with beef and a well rounded spicy sauce. This one we were told had more the 27 ingredients in the sauce alone. How on earth were we supposed to guess each one? Tricky chefs haha. I half used my fork and half used my fingers, after all who was judging, no one could see! I thought I could detect a hint of cilantro but when talking with my friend Dave he said no way as he doesn’t like cilantro and he liked this. His guess for the sauce was some sort of curry. (As it turns out there was cilantro in the polenta). 

The final course arrive and my friend Meghan squeeled with delight. Chocolate! Our desert course was here! It seemed obvious what it was, a brownie with a berry purée sauce. Something crispy on top too, maybe toffee? What ever it was, it was a delight!  

Once the final course was cleared we were served our final cocktail pairing which was a cider that Chef Levi had brewed the day before. It had spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. A great end to an amazing meal. We toasted to a great evening then the chefs let us in on what all the courses were. 

What a unique and fun experience. If you ever get a chance to have a blindfolded dinner do it! And keep your eyes on The Buhhda Boys to see what they are up to next.

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures! 
Kyra 

Ps: The Bhudda Boys is the coming together of two great chefs to form a partnership of a diversified food services business. According to their website, Facebook page and Twitter account they are offering catering, consulting and event planning. 

  

   

 
 

Advertisements

Attila the HUNgry – Food Truck Review

Hi food friends! 

So I’ve decided to make it my mission to try as many food trucks this summer as possible. 

I’m as surprised as you are that I hadn’t gotten a chance to try Attila the HUNgry last year. And after the chef vs chef popups at the Pourhouse I was going to make sure that Atilla the HUNgry was going to be on my list of must tries.   

I’ve had a chance to track them down a few times now and so far everything I’ve had has been very tasty. 

Here are some of the items I’ve tried so far…

Duck Tots ($12)

I think this might be the dish they are best known for. Thai braised duck piled on a mountain of crispy tater tots, topped with hoisin aioli and lime sriracha sauces then sprinkled with peanuts and herbs. 

Everything on this dish works wonderfully well together and the flavours are bold but not overwhelming. The tots were crispy and the duck was well flavoured and moist. The sauces are a perfect accompaniment. This dish is huge so you had better be hungry or have a friend to share. (Or just check that no one is watching and hoover it all on you own, I won’t tell anyone)

  

Peacemaker Burger ($8)

A handmade patty, Thai peanut butter, strawberry sriracha jam, peanuts on a brioche bun. 

This is an interesting blend of flavours. I’m not sure how the peanut butter is Thai, to me it just tasted like peanut butter, but that isn’t a bad thing. It goes well with the strawberry sriracha which is an even balance of both the strawberries and chili sauce. I appreciated that they didn’t bother to mess around with veggies on this burger since they would have just been lost in the striking flavours. 

Though the flavours are nothing I would have thought to combine on my own I think this one is a must try. 

  

Flying Togi Chicken Salad ($9)

Togarashi grilled chicken, raspberries, grilled peaches and corn served on mixed herbs and greens tossed with a ginger garlic aioli. (I had to look up what togarashi is; it’s a Japanese chili pepper seasoning) 

A great summer salad. I would normally not think of ordering a salad from a food truck but I was feeling healthy that day 😉 And so glad I did. This was light and refreshing but hit the spot and still filled me up. Yum yum! I would love to buy a bottle of that dressing! 

 

Kimchi Shrimp WontoNachos ($10)

House made kimchi, shrimp, cabbage, garlic sesame aioli and herbs loaded on top of crispy wonton “chips”. 

This dish is my personal favorite! The chips are seasoned with something I can’t quite put my finger on, it’s a mix of spicy and sweet. The shrimp are perfectly cooked and cut into smaller pieces so you can easily scoop them with the chips. The house made kimchi I was a little worried about. I’ve tried kimchi before and it’s been way to hot for me but this kimchi is spot on! A little heat at the back of your mouth but not too much which means your still diving into this dish bite after delicious bite! 

  

Banana Coconut Fritters ($7)

These are topped with coconut foam, lime juice, lime zest and icing sugar. 

Ok I didn’t actually try this due to a banana allergy but hubby had it and in his words… “mmmmm… yes these are good… mmm… I’m glad I don’t have to share with you cause I wouldn’t!” 

   
 

Well I hope you will all take advantage of the beautiful summer we are having so far and go hit up some street eats. You will be pleased at what you can find and you’ll be supporting local small businesses which is always tops in my books. 

To find where Attila the HUNgry will be or many of the other food trucks down load the Street Food app or check out the street food website
Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

Charcuterie 101 Cooking Class & Rillet Recipe

Hi food friends! 

A few weeks ago I took a charcuterie 101 class out in Lacombe at the Ellis Bird Farm. This class was put on by Chef Blake Anderson of Terre It Up catering and Todd Lawrence of Soil To Salt. These 2 gentelmen were amazing, hilarious and passionate about meat!  

(You can follow chef Blake on Twitter @terreitup and Todd @soiltosalt )

 

To clear things up, charcuterie is a style of cooking dedicated to prepared meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.

In this intimate class of 12 people we learned the basics of making your own sausage, curing bacon, rendering lard and making pâté and rilette (my personal favourite!). 

We started the class off prepping all our pork by chopping and cooling. When working with ground pork it’s very important for the meat and all your tools to be very cold so that the fat doesn’t just melt into the meat. 

 

Our workstation

  

Prep for the garlic sausage

  

Bacon slabs

  

Yum look at that fat!

  

Blake showing off the pork!

  

Todd getting the meat grinder ready

  

Course ground

  

Adding the aromatics to the fine ground

   

So after all the meat was cut and well chilled we ground and ground and ground some more to make our sausage (3 kinds) and pâté. 

To make the pâté we used a combo of course ground and fine ground pork shoulder and liver, herbs and spices, as well as some liquid. Then a loaf pan was lined with caul fat (could use bacon or plastic instead) and half the meat mixture pressed in then we added whole pistachios then topped with the rest of the meat. We then placed it in the oven and cooked it ‘Bain Marie’ style (placing the smaller pan into a larger pan with warm water). 

 

Patè mixture ready

  

Lining the cooking pans with cule

  

Adding pistachios

        

Slicing the pate

   

   

After the sausage meat was ground and seasoned we chilled it some more. Can’t have that meat getting too warm and the fat melting. Then we prepped the casing and started filling. After the sausage was filled we twisted the links. 

   
    

In the beginning of the day we also started the rilette. Rilette is similar to pâté, in that it’s made from pork, but with this dish the meat is cubed first then cooked slowly in fat with the aromatics until it is tender enough to shred. It’s then mixed with some of the cooking fat to form a paste and cooled. 

 

Pork and aromatics

  

Lots of fat for it to cook in

  

Pan out of the oven looking tasty

  

Begining to shred the pork

  

Shredding by hand but can also use a mixer

  
This day was so much fun! And I met some amazing people who I hope to see again some time! I’m also working on getting my own grinder and sausage stuffer to be able to make my own meaty treats. 

There was talk of a Charcuterie 201 class in which they would teach cured meats such as salami. I hope that’s true cause I’d be there in a heartbeat!

Rilette du Pork

Ingredients:

– 3lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into roughly 2″ pieces

– 2-3 sprigs of thyme

– 3 bay leaves

– 5 cloves 

– 1 cinnamon stick 

(put thyme, bay, cloves, cinnamon into muslin and tie)

– 1-2 whole bulbs garlic, sliced in half

– 2 celary stalks, cut into 3-4 pieces

– 1 onion, cut into quarters

– 1 leek, cut into 3-4 pieces

– 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

– 1 Tbsp salt

– enough pork fat to cover the meat while cooking 

Directions:

– Put the pork into a large roasting pan and toss in the vegetables and muslin wrapped aromatics. 

– Top with enough melted fat to coat the pork then sprinkle with salt. 

– Cook meat at 300F for 4-6 hours until the meat is tender and falls apart. 

– Once cooked, remove meat from dish and set aside to cool. When the meat is cool enough to touch, mix it either by hand or using the paddle attachment of a mixer until it is quite fine. 

– Add enough of the leftover fat to the shredded meat to create a spreadable mixture and mix for about 2 minutes. 

– Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning. 

– Pack mixture into small jars ensuring its packed tight with no air pockets. 

– Cool in fridge then top with a little more fat just to coat the top and seal the meat. 

– This should last about 2 weeks in the fridge or you can freeze it and it will last months! 

– Allow to come to room temperature before serving (about 1 hour out of fridge). 

Enjoy! 

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce

Hi food friends!

Sorry, it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I’ve just been enjoying our beautiful spring and keeping myself busy. In the next few weeks I should have some good posts for you with some of the things I’ve been getting up to. But today I am happy to bring you a new pasta recipe! You might be thinking ‘but Kyra its spring what’s with the heavy pasta dish?’ Well have no fear this pasta is loaded with veggies to help keep it light and healthy! So much so my husband commented on how much “stuff” was in it. Haha, silly guy. 

So this recipe has vodka in it (if you couldn’t guess from the title) now the alcohol does cook off so it is safe for the kids but if you would prefer a non-alcoholic version you can substitute chicken or beef stock (or veggie if your vegetarian). And feel free to experiment with what veggies you like in this dish. I’ve done it without the yellow squash; with mushrooms; with green peppers instead of red; with 2 zucchini. The choice is yours, have fun with it. 

Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce

Ingredients: 

– 1 box whole wheat penne (about 500g dry)

– 1 package Italian sausage (about 500g) (for vegitarian you could use a big can of chickpeas instead and add it when you add all the veggies)

– 1 onion

– 1 large clove of garlic

– 1 zucchini 

– 1 yellow long neck squash (looks like a zucchini, or just 2 zucchini)

– 1 red pepper

– 1 can (28oz) whole plum tomatoes

– 1 cup vodka (or stock)

– 1 cup heavy cream (at least 10%, I use whipping cream

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

– Get a large pan on medium heat and add about a teaspoon of oil. Take your sausage and cut the casing open then put it in the pan and break them up with a spoon so it’s in small chunks. 

– While your meat starts to brown dice your onion then add to the pan. Sauté for about 5 minutes. 

– Meanehile chop up your other veggies into about 1 inch cubes. Then add to your sautéed onion and now browned sausage. Crush the garlic and add to the pan. 

– Add the vodka to the meat and veggie mixture and simmer for about 5 minutes to cook out the alcohol. 

– Push the meat and veggies to one side of the pan and pour the can of tomatoes on the other side. Then using a potato masher mash up the tomatoes. (If there’s not enough room in your pan for this you can do it in another pan then pour them in, make sure it’s got higher sides cause the tomatoes will squirt juices out of them. Alternately you could use a can of diced tomatoes instead but I prefer the taste of the whole plums). 

– Allow the sauce to simmer while you cook your pasta. You want to leave the pasta quite firm as you will be finishing the cooking in the sauce. I like to take one and bite it and still see the line of white in the middle. If your using whole wheat penne boil for about 7 minutes. 

– While the pasta cooks add the cream to your sauce and stir to incorporate. 

– When the pasta is done combine it with the sauce and stir till it’s all coated nicely then allow it to simmer for about 5 minuets stirring frequently until the pasta is cooked through. 

Enjoy!

 

Browning the meat

  

Veggies added

  

Tomatoes joined the party

  

Ready to enjoy!

 
Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra

🙂 

Quinoa Breakfast Cups – Recipe 

Hi food friends!

My typical breakfast is a good healthy smoothie but every once in a while I get tired of that and need something new so I came up with this quinoa breakfast cups recipe as a good healthy alternate. They are easy to make and last in the fridge about a week and they also freeze well for an easy grab and go breakfast on the run. 

The recipe uses 4 egg whites and 2 whole eggs which helps keep this a little bit of a lighter recipe but if you prefer you can use 5 whole eggs instead. 

Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Ingredients:

– 2 Cups cooked quinoa 

– 1 Cup grated zucchini 

– 1 Cup grated sharp cheddar (or any good cheese you have on hand would work)

– 1/2 Cup fine chopped ham (about 200g)

– 4 egg white 

– 2 whole eggs 

– 1 tsp salt

– 1/2 tsp pepper

– 2 green onions, finely chopped 

– 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

– Parchment paper

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 400F

– Mix together all ingredients. 

– Cut rounds of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the muffin tin. Place rounds in bottom of muffin tin then spray or brush pan with oil. Be liberal with the oil or these will stick. 

– Spoon quinoa mixture into muffin tins till they are just full. This should fill a tray of 12. 

– Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely then use a knife to lossen around the sides and pop out. 

Enjoy!

  
Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

Pampa Brazilian BBQ Cooking Class and a Gluten Free Cheese Bun recipe 

Hi food friends,

This weekend I attended a cooking class at Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse. The class was on Brazilian BBQ and included lessons and recipes for making Picanha (their signature rump steak), lime-coconut prawns, marinated chicken drumsticks, warm onion salad, Pampa’s potato salad, and a gluten free cheese bun called Pao de Queijo. 

Our instructors for the day were Archie and Anup. They were fantastic at explaining things and let us get hands on with the techniques. 

We began the class by starting the fire! The trick they showed us to lighting the charcoal started with an empty wine bottle. They take sheets of newspaper and tie them around the bottle then place the paper wrapped bottle in centre of the BBQ and pull the bottle out. This creates a well for air to circulate in. At this point they pour the charcoal around the paper then light the paper from the inside. They exclusively use Dragons Breath charcoal in the restaurant which is a hickory/oak blend. Now we left it to get nice and hot and let the charcoal catch, this takes about 20 minutes. 

During this time we made some of the other recipes (see below for the Pao de Queijo – Cheese Bun recipe) and prepped the meats for the fire! I feel like fire needs an ! after it is that wrong? 

Though we learnt a marinade for the prawns and chicken and how to skewer those I’m going to concentrate on just the beef or you’d be reading all day here. 

So their signature meat, Picanha, is a rump roast which is the equivalent to a top sirloin. You want to leave the fat on the meat because it gives it good flavor and keeps the beef moist but if there is any silver skin you want to cut that off because it would be tough and chewy once cooked. It is also very important to make sure you get the meat right on the skewer so that it doesn’t spin around and can cook evenly.  

Archie getting the Picanha ready

Anup showing how to skewer the meat


  

Picanha on the skewer

The meat shouldn’t move when you shake the skewer

Once the meat is all skewered up they strictly use sea salt as the seasoning. Very generously season the meat with salt, after cooking you brush the excess off. Now if you don’t have the ability to do a roatisary you can do 1″ thick steaks in the same manner with the coals and the salt. 

So once the meat is all skewered and seasoned you want to stir your coals and even the heat out a little. Then you want to put the meat as close to the hot coals as you can and start your rotation so that it gets a good sear. Once it’s got a good sear you can move it farther away from the heat source and continue to cook the meat through to whichever doneness you prefer. At Pampa what they do is remove the meat and carve your first serving off. But before you carve it off make sure you brush that excess salt off the meat. They just use a stiff bristled plastic brush like the kind you would use in the kitchen for scrubbing pots. After carving the first serving they re-salt the meat and return to the fire. And on the process goes throughout the night. 

   

Meat over the fire

 

The caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail made with lime, sugar and cachaça (a Brazilian liquor). And before they served us lunch we all got to try our hand at making our own signature cocktail with our choice of fresh fruits. 

Me shaking up my own version of a caipirinha

Then we all got to sit down for lunch and enjoy the fruits of our labours. 

 

 

As part of the cooking class we also got a sample of the charcoal and salt (more than what I’ve show in the picture) that they use and an apron. 

 

It was a fun morning and a great lunch. I would highly recommend the experience to try. It would make a great gift for the men in your life that like to cook… with fire!

Special shoutout to my classmates for the day: Jason, Charlene, Gonny, Jen, Brent, Amanda and Darcy! Now onto the recipe!!

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Gluten free Cheese Buns)

Ingredients:

– 3 eggs

– 275ml canola oil (or any other oil that has mild flavor such as vegetable oil)

– 1tsp salt

– 3C tapioca starch (rooster brand is available at T&T)

– 1/2C fine grated Grana Padano Cheese 

– 1/2C fine grated Asiago Cheese

– 275ml whole milk (at least 2%) 

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 375F and grease a mini muffin pan. 

– Using a blender, blend eggs, oil and milk together. Add the cheese and salt to the mixture and blend until smooth. Add tapioca starch in small batches and continue to blend. 

– Scoop mixture into baking pan filling each cup full (they will puff up in the same manner that Yorkshire pudding will) then bake for 12-15 minutes or until they become a light golden brown colour. 

Enjoy!

Here are some pictures of us making the Pao de Queijo…

   

   

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

Pampa Brazilian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

The Common – Downtown Dining Week

Hi food friends!

This week (March 13-22, 2015) is the 12th annual Downtown Dining Week. Several downtown restaurants participate in this 10 day event and present multi course special menus at set prices.  Two-course lunches for $15, three-course dinners for $28 or an Executive dinner for $48. It’s a great way to try a restaurant that maybe you haven’t had a chance to before. 

I dove right in at the first possible chance and went for lunch on Friday with a friend from work. We decided to tried The Common, a gastro-lounge that boasts a scratch made kitchen taking pub and comfort foods and putting modern twists on them.  



The Downtown Dining  Week lunch menu offers a salad as the starter. It had roasted apples, mushrooms, blue cheese, pecans, brussel sprouts and a mix of greens. It was quite tasty and I liked the mix of warm apples and brussel sprouts with the crisp greens. 



They have 2 options for your main course, pork meatballs with gnocchi carbonara or a tandoori nada sandwich with rocket (arugula), avocado, sweet ginger and olives. We got 1 of each and shared. 

The gnocchi was wonderfully light and fluffy, the carbonara sauce was rich and flavourful with big bits of bacon. The meatballs were moist enough and topped with a little Parmesan cheese for some flavour. 



The sandwich was also quite good. The basa was cooked just perfect! Crunchy on the outside but perfectly moist on the inside! Since this was supposed to be a tandoori fish I did expected a little more flavour. Now I know that a tandoor is a type of oven or cooking method traditionally, however when the menu states tandoori I usually expect the tastes of masala, garlic, ginger and cumin. Nonetheless the sandwich was tasty. The olives added a nice salty flavour but wasn’t overpowering and the bun was really fresh. The sandwich also came with a side; options were salad, fries or soup. Since we had a salad as a start we decide on soup. Which was a tomato veggie soup and was also very good. 





Well I hope you will take this opportunity to go and try some new-to-you places and we couldn’t have asked for better weather for a chance to check out the city’s downtown core. 

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

🙂

The Common on Urbanspoon