Wednesday, October 7, 2009

barry gets creative.

so i very recently got cable tv

(don't get too excited, i'm getting rid of it by the end of the month),

and managed to catch the last 10 minutes of oliver's twist: an older tv show featuring british celebrity chef, jamie oliver. he was doing delightful things with bread, but what really caught my attention was a grape-rosemary calzone he was preparing. i only caught that there was pine nuts, rosemary, grapes, wine and icing sugar in the mix, but it looked too amazing to not try.

with the help of a (dis)similar recipe i found online, i whipped up my own take of oliver's calzones for a couple of friends this past weekend. the result was such a hit that this is now going to be my thanksgiving contribution for the upcoming weekend. super simple to make, super impressive to look at, and with a taste that is pretty damn good, you'll be the talk of the thanksgiving table, finally one-uping your cook-it-all sister.

i win dammit! i finally win!!

grape-rosemary calzones

pizza dough:
1 package yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 - 2 tsp sugar
1 c. warm water

combine above ingredients, and put in a warm place to activate (about 3 - 5 minutes). it will start to bubble.

add 2 to 2 1/2 c. flour to yeast mixture (start with 2, and see how it goes from there) with some salt and olive oil. the dough should be elasticy.

let 'er rise.

approx. 2 cups grapes, roughly chopped, or as i like to do it, squished with your hands
roughly chopped fresh rosemary minus the sticks (as much as you like. i used about 2 tbsp.)
cashews - yes please!
olive oil - just a splash
sweet wine (oliver used vin sinto; i used something sweet and red from the okanagan. WAY cheaper)
icing sugar (approx 3 tbsp or so)

mix the filling all together. the icing sugar with help coat everything, but everything will be liquidy).

roll out small rounds of dough and spoon onto them the grape mixture. top with some chevre and fold over and crimp together the sides. add a wee bit of salt and olive oil to the top of the calzone and bake at 350F until golden brown (15 minutes or so).

Monday, October 5, 2009

barry heads over to the cactus club cafe.

so, if you're feeling a little la-ti-da, and want to experience the creations of an iron chef, you should head down to the cactus club pronto. chef rob feenie has created some delightful concoctions that may or may not give him another win on iron chef, but if nothing else give your tastebuds a run for your money. and there is quite a bit of money trading hands. my buds and i started off with some beef carpaccio ($13), followed by our entrees of butternut squash and fried sage ravioli, vegetarian fajitas and beef dip (~$15 - $25). we then ended off the meal with a bang, and had his key lime pie (~$8), made from scratch with love. though the individual meal choices are not ridiculously expensive, they add up as you want to try more and more dishes. out of the entrees, my clear favourite was the ravioli, but the other dishes were lovely too.

beef carpaccio
you were the evening's highlight.
i want more, dammit!

sage ravioli,
simply done with truffle oil.
you were crazy rich.

refreshing with zing,
you were other's favourite.
get me some pie, bitch!

on a side note, our waitress gave us the skinny on the dress code for wait staff. all women must wear heels no shorter than one inch. umm....what? they're on their feet for how long, running around with our food and drink, and flats and low heels are out. can anyone say union?

barry gives you some advice on food from the shaw.

it's surprisingly good!

i'm a sceptic when it comes to eating things created en masse - things tend to be dry, rubbery, and only barely edible. but this is the third time i've had dinner at the shaw conference centre, and i have to admit that, overall, i like it.

our meal started off with homemade bread rolls, including some fantastic dill ones, followed by a curry butternut squash soup served with an apple fritter.

the main event was chicken supreme with coq au vin, steamed veggies and lyonnaise potatoes. the potatoes were thinly sliced and layered like scalloped, but without any flavour. the veggies were also a bit limp, but were tasty, as was the chicken and sauce, which were moist and delicious.

finally, we ended off with a very suprisingly delicious black forest cheesecake that had me craving seconds. mmm...

Friday, October 2, 2009

barry celebrates harvest moons and thai delights

so, i just found out not half an hour ago that tomorrow is the mid-autumn or moon festival. it's a time when families get together and celebrate their adundance and completeness, but more importantly eat moon cakes. moon cakes are delightful lotus and peanut concoctions that have an egg in the middle to symbolize the moon. they're not really sweet, but they are definitely tasty, with a lot of peanut and almost toffee action going on. stay up late tomorrow, eat some cake and enjoy mother nature's show.

last friday i went out with colleagues to enjoy the spectacle that is tropika on calgary trail. if you love thai and malaysian food, head down for the feast.

roti and satays
start off our delightful meal.
roti all the way!

red chili chicken
garlic and cashews combine.
oh dear god it's hot!

bland and forgetful,
the desserts disappoint me.
...more roti perhaps?