Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Quebec City and Ile d’Orleans

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Ile d'Orleans Grocery store

Ile d'Orleans Grocery store

We recently spent a week in QC and environs- more of the getting to know Canada tour. This time, we went to Quebec City, Ile d’Orleans and then up to Ottawa and the Ottawa valley.

I’d heard that QC is about the closest you can come to Europe, while staying in North America. It definitely has an old-world feel.

Here’s something I didn’t know: Canada is fully bi-lingual… except in Quebec, where it is ALL French. Most of the hospitality people spoke some English, but all the signage is French. Which can be very disconcerting when you’re driving. Luckily TMIML speaks French. After a few days, my high school French started kicking in, as well. Some of the most fun we had was listening to our navigation system mangle street names. (OK, we’re easily amused.)

We had a great time in Quebec City, staying in old town and sampling the cuisine there. I tasted creme brulee with duck liver pate, and was totally hooked. (It sounds weird, but is totally luxurious.)

I’m sure not everyone in Quebec has a green thumb & is a phenomenal cook, but that’s not my experience. Our stay on Ile d’Orleans, at the Canard Huppe (crested duck) was fantastic.

One experience especially… we were driving past Oka, and needed a place to stay, so stopped at the info center. The lady sent us to a b&B in St-Placide, La Capucine. Julie, the hostess, and her husband Alcide made us incredibly welcome, and immediately whipped up a light dinner, not to mention a breakfast the next morning beyond compare.

I really enjoyed this trip, and hope to explore Quebec further, especially the Gaspe Peninsula.

Zucchini madness

Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Organic Zucchini, originally uploaded by ilovebutter.

It’s that time of year… be sure to lock your car doors, or you may find a sack of zucchini waiting for you. In fact, zucchini is about the only garden plant I know of that just doesn’t take much TLC. In fact, you don’t even need to plant it. Just befriend a gardener, and you’ll have plenty.
My personal preference is grilled zucchini. A grill wok with zukes, onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc is a beautiful thing.
I just discovered a new use, though, thanks to Traditional Foods, one of my favorite websites. They’ve actually figured out how to morph zucchini into something like raisins. Here’s their recipe for zucc-raisins.

Gefilte Fish Loaf

Saturday, September 10th, 2011
Gefilte Fish Loaf, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Suddenly fall is upon us, with crisp mornings and leaves beginning to color. And before you know it, the holidays will be gearing up.

I keep hearing about this incredible gefilte fish loaf recipe, which is a mainstay at the family get-togethers, so decided to try my hand at it.

It’s a little difficult, because I’ve never actually eaten gefilte fish, so I have no comparison point. We did go to United Bakers’ specifically to get me some, but theirs wasn’t done yet, so I had to make do with split pea soup (which I highly recommend) and kasha w/bows & friend onions.

What a place; they call it the “yoo-hoo” restaurant because half the time is spent saying hi to old friends. The walls and ceiling are lined with mirror so that you don’t have any excuse for missing anyone. This was my premier visit, so I was vetted by Ruthie, who co-owns with her brother.

So far I’ve had 2 thumbs up on the gefilte fish loaf from the MIML (man in my life) and another family friend, and they should know, so I’ll post the recipe here, in case you’d like to give it a try.

Note that in Toronto, you just call ahead to Nortown & they’ll have your ground fish waiting for you. If you’re not in Toronto, I guess you’ll have to catch, clean, de-bone & grind your own fish. Have fun.

Gefilte Fish Loaf

  • 2 lb ground mixed fish
  • 2 carrots, chopped into 2″ chunks
  • 2 large onions, in 2″ chunks
  • 1/4 C mild oil
  • 3 TB matzoh meal
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1/2- 3/4 C club soda
  • 3 eggs

Line a loaf pan with lightly oiled aluminum foil. Make sure foil extends above the rim. Put loaf pan on jelly roll sheet to catch any overflows.

Grind the carrots, and then the onions, in the food processor. They should be in bits, smaller than if they were grated. Saute in the oil until most of the moisture evaporated. Cool this mixture down.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add matzoh meal and seasonings and mix thoroughly.

Add fish and carrot/onion mixture. (I found this easiest to do w/hands.) Gradually add the club soda. Be careful- you don’t want it soggy. 1/2 C was plenty for mine.

Put into prepared loaf pan. Place pan on rimmed cookie sheet to catch drips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr and 10 minutes. When cool, wrap and store in refrigerator.

Before serving, unmold & allow to come to room temperature, slice and serve with strong red horseradish and a pepper grinder on the side. Accompany with challah, rye or during Passover, matzoh.

Happy Epiphany!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Rosca de Reyes, originally uploaded by sbmilagros.

Epiphany or Dia de los Tres Reyes (the 12th day of Christmas, when the Wise Men showed up) is a big deal in Mexico.
The special sweet bread these little boys are selling is called a Rosca de Reyes. There’s a lot of tradition associated with the roscas, and here’s a recipe.
It’s also when Mexican children traditionally receive their “Christmas” presents. In my old n’hood of Colonia San Rafael, they’ve shut down the main avenue & it’s now a tarp city selling all manner of gifts for children.
Here are a few photos of what’s going on.