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Archive for the ‘Cheese’ Category

I like stone fruits: peaches, plums, cherries and mangoes. What are stone fruits, you ask? Also called drupes, they are fruit that have a large stone, often mistaken as seed, inside. Think about what a peach looks like when you cut it open, or a plum, or even a cherry. What we usually call a pit is actually the stone, and the seed is inside the stone. I love the juicy flesh of stone fruits and they are so good, and so sweet, just on their own. However, I’m always curious about finding savoury ways to enjoy them. And now, I have one idea.

Did you know:
…plums are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as several antioxidants?
…there are only 46 calories in a 100g serving of plums?

Recently I got my hands on some Chilean pluots. Pluot is a hybrid fruit, part plum and part apricot. It’s nicknamed “Dinosaur Eggs” in Chinese because of its spotted skin. The fruit is in a beautiful red colour. I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich with them. Now I don’t think plum and cheddar, the typical choice of cheese for grilled cheese, go together, so I’ve substituted it with brie. And to elevate it, I opted for sourdough for a chewy texture and some tang in flavours.

Fun fact: Chilean plum season is from mid-November until April, which is the opposite of local fruit season in BC.

The beauty of a grilled cheese is that you can build it in however way you want, so I’m only providing a guideline here in terms of ingredients.

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As we spend more time at home, Mama Lam is trying different recipes to keep ourselves entertained. We found this Korean style baked mochi ball recipe online and tested it out. The recipe is very easy to make and suitable to involve kids.

In a nutshell, the dry ingredients make up the flavours while the wet ingredients bind them together. We tried it with 4 flavour variations and made some adjustments based on our experience. The steps are the same regardless of the flavours.

Wet Ingredients (Mixture A)

  • 12g Butter
  • 1/2 Egg
  • 35ml Warm Milk

Dry Ingredients (Mixture B)

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When I asked for restaurant recommendations for Las Vegas, most people suggested Eggslut. So we went. At 12:30am on a Friday night/Saturday morning.

Eggslut Vegas Late Night

It’s amazing to be in the sin city, where a restaurant would open at 12am. Yep, Eggslut opens at 12am on Saturdays, to cater to the clubbing crowd I assume. We flew in late that evening so we figured we would grab a late night meal. There was still a line outside Marquee, right across from Eggslut.

Eggslut Cosmopolitan Vegas

Food

We ordered the Slut, one of their specialty items. Coddled egg on top of potato puree, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette. It’s cooked with an immersion circulator so the egg was in perfect consistency. (more…)

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West Oak recently celebrated its 5th anniversary in the Yaletown neighbourhood. As a follow-up, Areta, Alice (Double A!) and I were invited to a hosted dinner at the restaurant. I’ve been here a couple of times beforehand, one of which was an evening out with a few of my girlfriends a few years ago.

Disclosure: This meal was provided to me complimentary of the restaurant. However, the views and opinions are my own.

Food

We got a sneak peek of some of their new cocktails (from left):

New Cocktails at West Oak

The Aperol Spritzer Mimosa is their new take on the classic brunch cocktail. This is available only during brunch, but the restaurant made one for us to try. Aperol, prosecco, fresh juice (orange, grapefruit, etc.) — it was juicy, citrusy, fizzy, refreshing. Great for a patio brunch. There’s no reason a mimosa fan wouldn’t enjoy this.

Tiffany Blue could become a local IG sensation. The Ciroc Apple came through and gave it some tartness, almost face puckering. You can really taste the apple here. The addition of edible silver makes it sparkle like a precious piece of jewelry.

Tiffany Blue

The last cocktail, at the time this was written, hasn’t been named. It just had a nickname “Green Thumb“. It had gin, elderflower liquer, basil, cucumber. It reminded me a bit of mojito – it’s light and crisp, and herbaceous.

Then, we dove into dinner, with a couple of appies to share. (more…)

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When Bryan (the “beer guy”) isn’t writing about beer I put him to work as my camera man – so he and I were proud and honoured to represent VanFoodies at the 11th Annual ChefmeetsBCGrape while our fearless leader, Joyce, had other work commitments. The ChefmeetsBCGrape Signature Tasting is a fundraiser for the Arts Club Theatre to support the local theatre arts while showcasing BC food paired with BC VQA Wine.

Very “handy” third hand provided at the event

Very “handy” third hand provided at the event

The event started off with a bang with my favourite dessert of the evening (and, needless to say, favourite dish overall):

Chocolate gianduja pate with sour cherry compote

Chocolate gianduja pate with sour cherry compote, lychee foam and toffee brittle paired with Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2014 presented by P2B Bistro & Bar

I’ve never had chocolate in a pate form before but let me tell you, it was smooth, creamy, not too sweet, and went beautifully with the toffee brittle crunch. The lychee foam and sour cherry compote disappeared behind the richness of the chocolate but gave it an interesting look with the white bubbles and pop of red colour. I found the white wine pairing quite surprising and would have preferred something equally as rich to balance with the chocolate/toffee flavours such as a Cabernet Sauvignon – the Pinot Gris was washed out by this delicious and delightful treat.

Now being Aussie I am a lamb fan (it’s a national Aussie meat) but I don’t find many Canadians who enjoy it. However, on this night, I only heard positive feedback from everyone I spoke to regarding this dish:

Sous-vide lamb sirloin slider

Sous-vide lamb sirloin slider, grey baby cheese, smoked tomato relish and beet chip paired with Upper Bench Winery Estate Grown Merlot 2012 presented by Provence Marinaside

The combination of flavours was well balanced with an equally balanced wine that paired very well with the strong flavours of the meat and cheese. (more…)

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