Monday, October 15, 2012

Mexican Hash and Bubbly for Breakfast

We wanted something hardy for breakfast this morning.  Warm, filling, and most importantly paying homage to the last of the tomato season.  So we started with fresh salsa and made mexican hash with scrambled eggs!
Fresh salsa
-Chop a couple of handfuls of whatever tomatoes you have found.  Finely dice a small red onion.  Juice half of a lime.  Add a diced avocado.  Chop of small handful of cilantro leaves.  Add a pinch or two of salt, a little bit of pepper, and mix it all together.  Voila.

 Anything Mexican we cook in our home requires a special Mexican mixture of amazingness that we have found in Kensington Market.  I think it's officially called 'the blue dot package.'  That's what we call it anyways, and so did the woman in the store who makes it.  Not to be mistaken for the red dot package.  You can pick one up at Emporium Latino, at 234 Augusta Ave.  If you can't make it there, you can always use any kind of taco spice mix blend you can find at the grocery store, but it's worth it to make a trip to Kensington.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
10 mini potatoes
1 Poblano peppers
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 Chorizo Sausages
4 eggs
1/4 cup of shredded of fresh mexican queso cheese
1 heaping tablespoon of Blue Dot spice
 Put the sliced potatoes in the pan with a cup or two of water.  Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes for 4-5 minutes.  Drain the water, and put the potatoes on the side.  Slice the sausage casing and take the meat out, pulling it into small chunks of meat.  Put the chorizo in the pan and cook with a small spoon of oil until browned and cooked almost through.   Now take the meat out of the pan, leaving all the flavoured oily goodness.  Put the onions and cooked potatoes in the pan and cook until almost crispy.  Add the cooked chorizo for a few quick minutes, and then add the scrambled egg with cilantro, stirring it up until the egg cooks through.  Add the cheese and stir till melted.  Plate, and serve warm, with some salsa on the side.
 The brunch was a celebration for Jessica, as she had just completed her first half marathon. So we had to pop some bubbly, naturally. The wine we selected was Terregaie Fior d'Arancio DOCG from Colli Euganei in the hills of Veneto, Italy.  The wine/appellation has just been granted a DOCG status (DOCG — Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed) and it is just starting to get recognized around the world for its amazing quality and style. Fior D'arancia means Orange Blossom in Italian, and the appellation is named after the distinct orange essances. The winemaker, Salvatore Lovo, from Terregaie was the driving force to have this wine style recognized as a DOCG and they have some of the oldest vines planted in their vineyards. It is made from 100% Moscato Giallo. It is lightly sweet with very low alcohol (6%) so it is a perfect brunch wine. Unfortunately you cannot find any of these wines in the province of Ontario, but you can replace it with the Batasiolo Moscato D'Asti DOCG Dla Rei, $14.95, #277194.
bon appétit.  
brunch is served.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Take That, Turkey

Don't get us wrong, we LOVE turkey.  But side dishes are really what make the whole meal.  Here are three successful sides we tried this weekend.  And so begins the season or warm roasted veggies.  Happy Fall.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Curried Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
2 tablespoons of garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons of olive oil
     Put all the ingredients except for the cauliflower into a bowl and stir until dissolved.  Add the cauliflower and toss until coated.  Put on parchment paper on a baking sheet in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes until desired tenderness.  Serve them on their own, in a salad, mixed with raisins and watercress, dropped in butternut squash soup... delicious endless possibilities.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
3 chopped sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes, leaving the skin on
1/2 cup of green onions sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1/4 cup of olive oil + more for roasting
2 tablespoons of honey
1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 minced shallot
2 teaspoons of dijon mustard

Coat the sweet potato cubes in olive oil and lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven until tender.  At 450 degrees, it should take 30-ish minutes.  Stab them with a fork and it should be tender all the way through.
Put the green onion and parsley and cooled down roasted potatoes in a bowl.  the remaining ingredients will be the salad dressing, so put them all in a small bowl and whisk until blended.  Pour the dressing over the sweet potatoes, and mix until coated.

Roasted Onion and Blue Cheese Salad
2 red sweet peppers
2 red onions
6 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
8 cups of frisee
shaved blue cheese
   Start by roasting 2 red peppers, putting them in the oven whole at 500 degrees turning frequently until the whole pepper appears burnt and crispy.  Take them out and let them cool, and then peel the skin off with your hands.  The skin should separate easily from the flesh, discard the skin and the seeds.  Slice into strips.
Cut the onion into quarters.  Place the oil, garlic cloves (whole), red pepper in a small shallow roasting pan, and roast them in the oven turning the onion occasionally, at 450 for 40 minutes, or until the onions are soft and caramelized.  Remove from the oven and drizzle the sherry vinegar over the veggies, letting the flavours marry in the bottom of the pan.  Spoon the veggies over small mounds of frisee, and spoon a little of the extra juice from the bottom over each plate.  Top with shaved blue cheese, serve warm.

We shared a couple bottles of Chenin Blanc with our loved ones this weekend. TORMENTOSO OLD VINE 2011 priced at $ 14.95 in LCBO Vintages. The winery is located in Paarl, South Africa and has a cool historic name because the Cape of Good Hope was originally known as Cabo Tormentoso when it was discovered by Portuguese explorers in 1488. This translates into the Cape of Storms.
The diverse grape variety Chenin Blanc shines bright in the vineyards of South Africa and claims the title as the country's signature white varietal. Chenin Blanc is most famous as the grape of France's Vouvray in the Loire Valley.  The colour is straw with hints of gold, this one teases with suggestions of orchard fruit on the nose but really struts itself after the first sip with well integrated flavours of pear, apple, grapefruit, spice, vanilla and flinty mineral notes. Somewhat of a creamy middle followed by loads of lively acidity and a bold lengthy finish. Really good juice! Pick up a bottle and give it a try. It's a good replacement if you are stuck on oaked Chardonnay's and are looking to break free and try something new.

dinner is served.
bon appétit.