Kickin’ It Up a Notch

Monday, September 17th, 2007

We’ve been improving some of our favorite recipes.

cimg7109.jpgInspired by the breakfast burrito at Nellie’s Restaurant in Calgary and the fennel sausage pizza from Gioia’s Pizza in Berkeley, we made some revisions to our own breakfast burrito. We added olives, jalapeño, fennel sausage and toasted anise seeds, which we initially thought were the same as fennel seeds, but our taste tests have determined to be sweeter with more licorice flavor. Refried beans added smoothness, weight and held everything together. Flour tortilla’s were substituted for corn tortillas, which worked well in the lighter version, but would have been too much with the beans and sausage. Fresh mozzarella, scrambled eggs, sour cream, cilantro, salsa, and avocado finish the ingredient list. We didn’t finish the food in the picture, flagging halfway through our second burritos.

While breakfast burrito’s are a great treat, we usually eat yogurt with fruit and/or granola. Inspired by her cherry pie, Janet grated a little nutmeg on top of maple yogurt and bing cherries–simple and tasty.

Ever since I tried cimg7114.jpgthe butternut squash pizza with the thin crust, I’ve been thinking about making a classic thin crust pizza. We topped ours with fresh tomato sauce, caramelized onions, anise seeds, fennel sausage, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, pine nutes and Parmesan cheese. It’s definitely in the top three pizza’s I’ve ever had, with Gioia’s Pizza’s and Alegretto in Chile being the other two.

Pizzeria Domestica

Monday, August 13th, 2007

cimg6986.jpgAfter the failure of the ciabatta recipe I wasn’t psychologically prepared for another failure of loaves, so I tried out the pizza dough recipe instead with toppings from a phyllo pizza recipe we made in our first year of this blog. It was the best pizza crust we’ve ever made, much better than Oprah’s chef’s recipe. Though my gluten development still needs work, it did stretch over my fists without tearing. I wasn’t daring enough to actually toss it into the air. Perhaps next time.

The thin crust baked perfectly on our sheet pan without need for the pizza stone we’ve been eyeing for weeks. The slices were crispy enough to hold without collapsing, yet were still chewy just under the golden brown surface. Perhaps this was due to the cookbook’s directions to cook the pizza at the highest temperature possible for only 5 to 7 minutes.

Now I just need to find some exceptional mozzarella and a recipe for great pizza sauce.

Eastern Interpretations

Monday, July 17th, 2006

I’m down to one Korean meal a day. I’m really sick of eating kimchi, which the Koreans seem to eat three times a day without fail. When eating ‘ethnic’ food they must have an ‘ethnic’ substitution such as a bowl of sliced pickles with a pizza or a small seaweed salad with sushi.

When I want burgers, I want Lotteria. Most of the burgers have a Korean twist, but they’ve also out-done the West with some of our own ingredients, such as with my favorite, the European Frico Cheese Burger.


Take a slice of good cheese, bread it, fry it and insert it as an extra patty = absolutely brilliant. How could North America have overlooked this? Also included is a slice of yellow pepper and black olives. I’m not a fan of olives, even on pizza, but it’s great on this burger. A few other noteworthy Lotteria burgers:

  • Kimchi Burger: Janet likes this one, a breaded patty of spicy cabbage.
  • Bulgogi Burger: A giant patty of famous Korean BBQ.
  • BBQ Paprika Burger: The sauce is quite good on this double patty burger.
  • Chuncheon Dakgalbi Burger: More of a typical chicken burger than the spectacle of dakgalbi.

Of course, the local interpretations can be less pleasing. Potatoes on pizza are popular. The last pizza we had included a ribbon of rubbery cheese with mashed sweet potato piped on top. At least the traditional ingredients in the middle were good.

A Culinary Tour of Halifax

Friday, May 5th, 2006

Halifax 1.jpgWe had to pack a lot of food into one day and two nights. On our first night I insisted we order from Salvatore’s Pizza. They make a plain cheese pizza to die for. We also split a mushroom and garlic pizza, a meatball hero and a salami-pepperoni hero. This was a traditional meal of Danny J and me. I used to favour the salami-pepperoni hero over the meatball, but this time was different. The meatballs are sliced and covered in cheese and sauce. The texture clearly states the sandwich is full of fat. It’s worth it.

Halifax 2.jpg The next day required an extra lunch to fit in all the mandatory stops. Ray’s at Scotia Square has a wide selection of Lebanese food. I hadn’t been there in three years. Nothing is fried. Everything is low fat. I always order the barbeque chicken pita. Rather than lettuce, he adds salad with tomatoes and pita croutons. The croutons add a great crunch. The oddest ingredient is roasted potatoes. He finishes it off with hummous and tahini sauce. I guess I’ve been there a lot. Ray looked and me and says, “it’s been a long time.”

Lunch two was chirashi sushi from Dharma. It wasn’t as good as I had remembered. That may have been purely because of the plating. Normally chirashi is served in a bowl with sushi rice at the bottom and assorted shashimi on top. The unique element at Dharma is barbeque eel sauce on the rice. On this occasion the rice was on one side of a plate and the fish on the other. All the fish was excellent, but it didn’t have the usual visual punch.

Halifax 3.jpg Steve-o-reno’s has the best coffee in Halifax. We both ordered the double short latte. It wasn’t as good as the Blue Bottle Company in San Francisco, but still very good.

Our next stop was Dio Mio for chocolate ice cream. They do have many more special flavours, but the chocolate is better than almost anywhere. It’s not too sweet. The cocoa flavour is strong. I remembered it being even more so, but the ice cream still tasted very good. I used to eat a small tub of it every week along with another of strawberry sorbet.

Dave and Karen picked up Indian takeout on our last night. Some couple with a hole in the wall sells their own frozen dishes. We had paneer, butter chicken, curry goat, curry vegetables and samosas. All were excellent. The best Indian food I’ve had at a restaurant was only marginally better.