Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pan Fried Chive Dumplings....Inspired By Chen's Shanghai Restaurant

So what do you do on a snowy morning?  Over here we think about what are we going to eat for brunch!
Dee and Max did an overnighter because of the snow last night.  After our morning coffees we discussed our next feeding.

BR was quite excited when Chen's was thrown into the discussion.  If you are expecting a restaurant review you are going to be disappointed. When you don't take photos, you can't really blog properly.  Long story....I was a bit off my game this morning.  Camera issues, well actually camera owner issues.  No photographs were taken but we had our fill of yummy dumplings and noodles.
We all left very happy.  That was less than 2 hours ago.

These could be the dumplings we had at Chen's....but they are not.  These were created just moments ago
at A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen........looks yummy, right?



Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tap Ko Choy....What the heck is it?

I was out grocery shopping the other day and came across an interesting looking choy (vegetable).
I've never eaten this before........let alone try to cook it.



I am imagining it to be like most choys.....but then again, it might have some sort of strong bitterness or something to it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Need a Quick satisfying lunch.....Deer Garden Signatures, Richmond might fit the bill

Deer Garden Signatures, Richmond BC


 8580 Alexandra Road (2nd floor)



Richmond, BC
(604) 278-9229


We stopped in for a quick lunch at Deer Garden.  This is a very popular spot, so we know to be quick and to avoid a huge line up, we must arrive early.  We were a group of 4 and we arrived around 11:30



Monday, February 21, 2011

Julia Child and Edith Piaf Visit Tuscany!


OK…work with me here,  pour yourself a glass of wine and click on the link for this video before you read any further….come on, just do it……..

let it play, sip your wine, then continue to read.  You’ll be glad you did!  



No Regrets!

"Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship."   Elsa Schiaparelli



I think I would have really liked Elsa Schiaparelli!

It has been a busy time around a Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen.  TJD and SJD were in town for a while…hence lots of gathering, fooding and wining took place.  We enjoyed their company. I savored every moment of it!  

During the course of the week we imbibed in a wee bit o' wine ….sometimes there was stuff left in the bottle….can you imagine?



Well not wanting to be wasteful….and also not too interested in drinking the dregs of assorted bottles, we collected them together, put on Edith Piaf and channeled our inner Julia Child for inspiration. 

Viola…….the perfect conditions for something amazingly tasty and comforting!

TJD and I love spending time together in the kitchen.....cooking and chatting. If you want to make your kitchen smell like yummy goodness, you have got to try this.  Your family will thank you.  Mine did.........


Coq au Vin

Here is the chicken, lightly browned and waiting for it's wine bath!


Ingredients

1 large roasting chicken
or 5 thighs and 5 legs
1 pound pearl onions, peeled  (a quick blanch makes peeling easier)
4 shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
4 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
1 Bottle of your favorite red wine
¼ cup butter, reserve 2 tsp for the mushroom and onion mixture
¼ AP flour
1 lb Crimini or button mushrooms
1-litre chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooking oil (grapeseed is my preference, olive oil is a bit too strong here)

Preheat oven to 350

If using a whole chicken, cut into 8 parts.
Season chicken parts with salt and pepper
In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet with a lid, brown the chicken pieces in cooking oil.  
Add butter and shallots after the chicken is lightly browned
Sprinkle flour over chicken pieces, add the butter 
Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until a thin paste has formed in the pan
Add garlic, thyme, wine, bay leaves and top up with chicken stock to just cover chicken pieces
Bring to simmer on stove, allow the sauce to thicken
Cover with lid and put into oven for 60 – 70 minutes


While chicken is in the oven..........pour yourself a glass of wine :-)


Melt the  2 tps of reserved butter in a  sauté pan
Add the pearl onions and mushrooms with a pinch of salt, sauté for 2 minutes
Add 1/2cup chicken stock simmer for 30 minutes

Pearl Onions and Mushrooms in the sauté  pan

Remove the chicken from the oven after one hour and add mushrooms and onions.
Adjust seasonings, sprinkle with parsley and serve with new potatoes and buttered carrots.

Coq au Vin, served with buttered potatoes and carrots

Play more French music, light a candle, gather your people around the table, dig into your Coq au Vin and enjoy another glass or two of your favorite wine!

"Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life 
and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship."        Elsa Schiaparelli




Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fraser Park Restaurant aka Anton's Place

 4663 Byrne Road, Burnaby, BC

There certainly has been a lot of chatter about this place on the food blogs.  In fact Buddha Boy over at Food for Buddha has taken on a new video project with Anton.  After reading again about this place, it was time for BR and I to check it out.  We called up S and D, a plan was formulated to venture out of our usual dim sum meet and try out Fraser Park.

It was a spectacular day, so BR and I took Veronica (topless of course!) and cruised down by the river.  Fraser Park is in quite a hidden location....tucked inside an industrial park. Veronica is my convertible.... she did a fabulous job getting us there!

When we arrived the parking lot was jammed...since it was a Saturday the other businesses were closed.  My first thought was, "all these cars are for Fraser Park?".....YUP, the place was packed. We were there about 11:00 on a Saturday morning.  There was a steady stream of people coming and going while we were there.

Well as all other reviewers concur.....you get a ton of food the the $$.
Anton is German and his wife is Filipino....the daily specials rotate from German fare to Asian fare

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chowtimes Chowdown at Shanghai House in Richmond

BR and I joined Ben and Suanne and a table full of other Chowtimers for a great meal last night.  It seems my previous post on Shanghai House piqued Ben's interest over at Chowtimes and before you know it....a Chowdown happens!

I was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of food and the commotion....not in a bad way, but kind of a stunned way.  The only photo I took was at the very end of the meal.  Still have a way to go on my blogger skills, eh?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

No Knead Bread adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and AMAZING Roast Pork Sandwiches

So if you have read about our  Roasted Suckling Pig, you are probably wondering if we actually ate the whole thing.  Well, we had 25 pounds of pork  plus a whole Southern Menu of accompanying dishes for 10 people.   Needless to say, there is a bit of pork hanging about….good thing it was delicious.

What to do with left over roasted pork?  Well, at a Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen we make delicious crusty bread rolls and enjoy amazing roast pork sandwiches.
  


This is a very simple version of No Knead Bread, adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day.
This recipe is quick and easy and most importantly

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Good Eat Seafood Restaurant


A couple of weeks back I was asking for recommendations for a good go-to, unfussy dim sum place in Richmond.  Our previous go-to Gala has been replaced by Jubilee Restaurant.  I think we caught Jubilee with opening day jitters. See previous post here.

Well, thanks to Crispy Lechon, I think we may have found our new go-to place.
8111 Leslie Road
Richmond, BC

Good Eat Seafood Restaurant was pretty spot on for us. We didn’t really plan on “lunching” on this day as we were running around taking care of chores and family things…….but then both of our tummies got growly and needed to be satisfied. We were in the neighborhood of Good Eat so decided to give them a try.

The restaurant is fairly spacious, the service is quite good and most important, we really enjoyed the dim sum that we ordered.  All their regular dim sum is $2.50

You can tell that this is a restaurant that has many regulars.  As we arrived I noticed a lady racing me to the front door. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Roast Suckling Pig

The following post may contain scenes of nudity, violence and coarse sea salt. Viewer discretion is advised.

Since all the talk on Chowtimes about Roast Pork (Siu Yook) it got us thinking At A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen, so we tried our hand at roasting a suckling pig.....you know how it goes. Go big or go Home.

Once upon a time, a little piglet was trotting along, minding his own business........

This foodie adventure started with sourcing a pig. It was pretty simple, one phone call and it was done.
Most people go and buy already roasted pork from the BBQ shop at Parker Place, not us...."we'd like a fresh whole pig, please." It took only a bit of convincing before they took my $130.00 (that works out to $5.20 per pound). I know, not really a great deal, but we wanted to try cooking this....the stuff you do for blogging.

I was a bit nervous about handling piglet. So I used my charm and just like that, problem solved... the nice butcher man offered to escort little piglet out of the market and into the car for me. He said, he didn't want me to mess up my clothes! Nice butcher man. That is worth the $5.20 per pound, right there!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I love BR and BR Loves Pepperoni Pizza

Happy Birthday BR!


Made with LOVE........



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roast Pork (Siu Yook)

Roast Pork (Siu Yook)…..well let’s be honest here. Roast Suckling Pig....yes baby Pig.



OK, I know some of you will get a bit squeamish about this, but hey….if you eat meat you may as well know it’s not always served to you as a perfect, boneless, skinless filet :-)

Stop reading now, if you are going to be offended!  Don't judge me!

On our trip to China we sampled many interesting items.  I had big dreams of blogging about all our culinary adventures…but then when I realized that I was unable to access A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen, I kind of lost interest in documenting our meals.  In the end I took a few pictures, so will share some of the highlights.

For me, one particular meal stands out.  It was near the end of our time in China.  After an incredible day in my family’s village in Zhongshan, Mr. and Mrs. Wong, the owners of Vancouver Chinatown’s Dollar Meat Store, treated us to dinner.  If you’re Chinese and grew up in the 60’s, 70’’s or 80’s, I am sure you have had your share of BBQ’d meats from the Dollar Meat Store.  They are probably as iconic as The Hong Kong Café for their apple tarts!

The meal the Wong’s hosted was pretty spectacular.  What I want to share with you is the incredible Roast Suckling Pig. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beer Can Chicken or Up the Butt Chicken



Funny Name……..fabulous chicken. This is easy, delicious and really kind of fun!

Your chicken will be perfectly moist with wonderful crispy skin.

We like this best cooked on the BBQ, but it can be done in the oven.  Be warned though, your oven will probably need a cleaning afterwards. (grease splatters!)

There are many variations on the rub you can apply to the chicken before cooking.  Use your favorite seasonings.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Huang Fei Hong Spicy Peanuts

Just a quickie today.  

Yowzzza.......if you are craving a spicy treat, this might be exactly what you are looking for.  Yummy chili roasted peanuts.  Packs a really spicy punch, especially if you eat the chilis.  Bonus....if you like the tongue numbing sensation of Szechuan  peppercorns, you will not be disappointed.  We had them with our congee......the perfect accouterment!

Anyone else eating these?




Friday, February 4, 2011

Jubilee Restaurant, Richmond


BR and I often like to start off our weekend with Dim Sum or a simple meal out.  We have been looking for a good, not too fussy or fancy  dim sum place.  You know what I mean?  A simple go to place, not too expensive, decent parking, and not too cramped that serves decent food.  That's not asking a lot, is it?

We used to go to Gala quite a bit, then it started to really deteriorate.  We noticed that they had recently closed and underwent a renovation.  We actually stopped and talked to them during the renovation time.  They were hoping to re-open in just a few days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

新年快樂 Happy Year of the Rabbit! 恭禧發財


恭禧發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy!

新年快樂 Sun Nian Fai Lok!

Chinese New Year Celebrations will be in full swing by the time you are reading this. We will be celebrating with friends and family. There will be an abundance of food and perhaps a bit of frolicking!

Here is a fun link that will provide the quick and dirty about Chinese New Year.
http://www.theholidayspot.com/chinese_new_year/

As with most families, the celebrations revolve around food. Ours is no exception. My mom does a lot of traditional cooking….making sure we feast on a bounty of things that will bring luck and prosperity to our family. One of the traditions my mom has always followed is including our ancestors in the celebration. An offering is made to our dearly departed relatives. I admire my mom for carrying on this tradition. It has taught me the true meaning of respect. I have much gratitude for our family’s ancestors. They have laid the foundation for who we are today.

OK onto the food.