29 June, 2013

Jessy's Wrap

Jessy knows how to make simple, delicious food. Here's a quick guide to a late morning or afternoon snack inspired from the young master of taste...  

Jessy's Wrap

Shredded carrot
Pea shoots, baby lettuce, etc.
Grated cheese (or crumbled feta)
Optional: add a fried or scrambled egg
Pita bread

Strawberry Popsicles!

The birds woke me at 5am.  Eight hours later I'm looking at the sun and wanting to rest on a low slung chair with a cold treat.

Sliced fruit, twirled in honey, pureed until smooth...piece of kiwi too...

life is good when made by scratch.

Do you have your popsicle molds ready yet? Mine are sort of boring, might scope out something more interesting for next batch. Something like these (Pinterest)

09 June, 2013

Banh Mi a sandwich already!

It's true. I like what the Banh Mi Boys do.  A lot a lot.

from blogTO
from thegridTO
They're my non-existent Asian grandmother's BBQ secrets carefully written down and translated by my fictional Asian hipster cousins, presented to an adoring public in a club-like atmosphere to throngs in downtown Toronto. The food is killer so you wait. People do that here.  (You know the space is loud when you step outside after eating one of their high flavour, inventive sandwiches into one of Canada's largest city's noisiest corners and it seems quiet.)

I think about their sandwiches and cannot get them out of my mind. Off I go on my bike to Spadina and Queen.  I've turned Nick onto them and proudly introduced another friend to the taste that is BBB. Even Fresh has their version of the Banh Mi sandwich (not served in their restaurants, but in their latest cookbook).

I read a quote from Calvin Trillin in a New Yorker magazine inherited from a family friend with a subscription:  "The only good argument for colonialism is the banh mi sandwich."  Ah, colonialism  jokes, so precious. 

Here's a recipe you can follow and get inspired by.  Easily replace tofu with chicken, beef, pork, squid or grilled fish.  The bread must not be regular sliced bread. That would be borrring...

Banh Mi
(c) 2011 from "Fresh: New Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes from Fresh Restaurants"
serves 4

the slaw
2 cups julienned daikon
2 cups julienned carrots
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup agave

the protein
4 Tbsp canola oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 block tofu slices 

the sandwich
small bunch of cilantro sprigs
slathering of good mayonnaise (or Veganaise is quite good)
16 slices cucumber
4 large crusty whole wheat buns or a baguette 

Marinate the tofu in the oil-tamari-garlic mixture for at least 30 minutes. In a separate bowl marinate the daikon and carrots in the vinegar mixture for at least 20 minutes.

You can either grill the tofu or eat it as is.   Pour the carrot mixture through a strainer to rid excess liquid.

Warm the bread and spread on as much mayo suits you.  Layer on the tofu, slaw mixture, cucumber and cilantro and press the bread halves together.

Serve with a side of sweet potatoes fries or green salad, if desired.  

01 June, 2013

Cafe Constant, Paris

What a trip to Paris does for the delightful soul... We ate, walked until we collapsed and saw almost everything on our list.  On day three we wandered in Champs de Mars until we found Cafe Constant.  I chose it for its consistent reviews to be "the best meal of the trip."  

We happily jostled alongside Japanese stylistas and British expats meeting their Parisienne girlfriend on a lunchbreak, eventually seated upstairs without too much wait.

Our lunch was elegant, modern French cuisine without arrogant service.  We both enjoyed the lingering qualities of a multi-course meal followed by cafe creme.  Arriving at the tail end of service at 230pm we were the last couple sitting in the dining room which felt both romantic and easy going. 

Find your way there sometime, you won't be disappointed...