Monday, August 18, 2014

Dining out in Calgary - Black Pig Bistro

Last week, Dan and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary. Unfortunately, on the actual day of the anniversary, I ended up being super sick. So in an effort to recover the anniversary we ended up making plans to celebrate in Calgary and have a mini-vacation. One restaurant in particular caught our attention - Black Pig Bistro especially after our friend Carmen talked about about each of the great dishes and having recently met Chef John Michael MacNeil in June. 
Upon entering their restaurant you are greeted by the friendly front of house and given a moment to enjoy the beautiful open space. Of course, one of their key features the Iberico leg is on display for your viewing pleasure.

Shortly after we ordered, we were treated to some molecular gastronomy of encapsulated (or spherified) olives! According to chef John this was heavily inspired by the tapas Barcelona restaurant, Tickets. When you pop these into your mouth, the jelly casing gives away to a burst of olives! Granted, you must love olives to enjoy this particular presentation, but I think olives are starting to grow on me (more about olives in the next post).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fondita Day by Mariel Montero at Expressionz Cafe

After trying out taco day at Expressionz Cafe back in March, I was keen on coming back for their much talked about Fondita Day. Fondita Day, is where mexican comfort food is presented Thursday evenings from 5-9pm at Expressionz Cafe. Mariel Montero, is the organizer and cooks up all the delicious dishes for both Fondita Day & Taco Day. As Fondita Day is not every Thursday, it is best to check their online calendar or follow them on Facebook. The good news is that the next Fondita Day is this coming Thursday July 31, 2014!

While we were enjoying our meal I also had the opportunity to meet the team behind the good eats for Fondita as well as Taco Day! Mariel Montero is the lady wearing the black apron in the first row. Look for her on your next visit!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rae Mi Hyang - Korean Chinese Restaurant Review

After picking up some kimchi from Mama Lee's Kitchen one day end of June, I spotted the opening of a new Korean restaurant 2 spaces down called Rae Mi Hyang. Now Mi Hyang can often mean noodles, so I was excited over the possibilities of a Korean restaurant specializing in noodles and other good eats. 

Together with a few fellow food bloggers we made plans to visit in early July. The restaurant does not take any reservations, so ensure that you go early in order to get a table large enough for your group. 

First glance of the menu showed that there were noodle dishes to be ordered as well as a scattering of other Korean dishes. We soon learned though, that Rae Mi Hyang is actually a Chinese Korean restaurant. As a result, many traditional Korean dishes were not on the menu such as korean short ribs, bugulgi or tteokbokki (korean rice cakes). 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crispy Skin Chicken in 30 minutes!

As promised in one of my previous posts, on instagram and also on Facebook, I'm finally getting to blogging our crispy skin chicken dish (not deep fried).  First off, you must used chicken with the skin on (I'll post an easy to print recipe at the bottom of this post as well). You can choose chicken leg, chicken thigh, drumsticks, wings etc.. but whatever you buy must have the skin in order to achieve the crispy chicken skin. The next item you will need is a large ovenproof pot that can be used on the stove top as well as the oven. A le creuset or a dutch oven will do the trick nicely.

First, take the chicken thighs, chicken legs, or chicken wings and pat them dry with paper towels. If you want more meat, then chicken thighs or quarter chickens (i.e. drum stick and the thigh) would be best. Add a sprinkle of salt, pepper and olive oil to the meat. You can also add more seasoning if you wish such as basil, oregano, or thyme. In this recipe, we kept it simple with just salt and pepper.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Amazing Dessert at Teatro Ristorante in Calgary

I had the most amazing ice cream this past Friday night in Calgary at Teatro Ristorante while Dan and I were with some of our friends C & D. John Michael MacNeil, executive chef at Teatro, was incredibly nice to accommodate us with making some liquid nitrogen ice cream for dessert.

Gorgeous interior! Look at the height! 
One of the exciting parts of the night was watching the creation of the liquid nitrogen ice cream. The caramel is made exactly at 60C. Any little degree over will result in a bitter and tart caramel ice cream and will have to be thrown out. So precision is important! Liquid nitrogen is at a temperature of -190C, so as it is poured into the custard it will rapidly chill and freeze the custard without adding any extra ice crystals! According to Dan (the engineer) the smoothness of the liquid nitrogen ice cream is due to the fat molecules being frozen precisely and resulting in no additional ice crystals. 

The liquid nitrogen is also used to keep the plates cold, otherwise once the caramel ice cream is scooped it will melt immediately. Another interesting fact is that the liquid nitrogen containers are very difficult to fill. Since the temperature of the room is about 26C trying to fill the containers are super tricky as the liquid nitrogen evaporates almost immediately.

This liquid nitrogen salted caramel ice cream was the most velvet and creamy ice cream you will ever experience. The volcano rock salt that is lightly sprinkled on top helps to cut the sweetness a bit and adds to the lovely flavour of the ice cream.

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