Saturday, August 17, 2013

DISH | A country adventure + grilled corn, avocado & tomato salad

So, we've got some news.

It's a few weeks coming but better late then never. This right here is our new home for the next month or so. Pretty amazing right?

If perhaps you have a hankering to move out to the country to retire or start your own lil' bed and breakfast, you can also buy it. Yup, that's right the guest house is for sale. Steeped in history, Oakdale, its former estate name, is full of the kind of character you just can't reproduce these days. It's well worth a drive to Maitland just to see it.

You see, the man and I have left our city digs to help a friend. I'm rocking the kitchen at his resto Bing's Eatery & Socialhouse (also for sale by the way) and he's put the tool belt back on. Quite the working holiday.

But that's not the only news. 

Since we've been here, a few cool things have happened. First, I was on CBC with the awesome Simon Thibault chatting food obsession, tree planting, and even whipping up some mint brownies. You can find both the recipe and podcast on CBC Information Morning's site.

Then, I went and made it to the second round in the Halifax Food Blogger + Local Conections Sausage Fest 2013 Recipe Contest with this bad boy. If you are in the city this Sunday, head to the Incredible Picnic & Sausage BBQ event at the Halifax Seaport Market to see who takes homes first. There's also two other cooking contests full of sausage love plus loads more sausage to shove in that pie hole. I'd make plans to be there.

Lastly, there's a few other projects I've been working on but that's all top secret for now. And that new blog site? It's on it's way real soon, finished or not. In fact, this will be my last post at the old blogspot. I hope you're ready for it cuz shit is gettin' real.

And what better way to welcome a country adventure than a simple salad you can throw together with last night's leftover grilled corn.

Grilled Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad

blogger life: can you spot it?!

4 ears corn, grilled, cooled and kernels cut from cob
2 avocados, cubed

2 tomatoes, diced
8 green onions, sliced
Handful cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon chipotle puree (or less if you can't handle the heat!)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Whisk together dressing. Combine with remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

DINE | Street eats: The Food Wolf does hot dogs proud

Graham Cracker Fread, hand model extraordinaire
I know you've all seen it. Those episodes of Eat St. full of steamed pork buns, fusion tacos,
and insane donuts that would make even a Krispy Kream look like a whole grain muffin. Seems the whole world is getting their street eat on, leaving us here on the East Coast crying into our greasy food truck fish n' chips. Not that there's anything wrong with a good ol' Maritime fish n' chip feast but where's my Schnitzlewich?

Even Montreal, where selling anything out of a truck was illegal for more than 60 years, recently overturned the old law to allow for more than 40, some operated by the city's best restaurants. So what's up Halifax? Luckily, with several gourmet trucks currently hitting our streets, we are well on our way to a booming food truck culture.

Bring on the street eats.

Blazing the trail were Nomad Gourmet and The Food Wolf, both serving the hungry masses for about a year now. In fact, though not as well known, Soups on the Move has been ladling out the hot stuff to Burnside workers since 2011. Then all of a sudden there were three more joining the ranks this summer: Bite Me Urban Diner, Under Pressers, and Tin Pan Alley. And they could not be more varied. From chicken and waffles to chorizo chilli frites to deep fried Oreos, there's nothing I don't want to stuff in my face.

But like most cities, the food truck scene in Halifax is rife with restrictions. There's but seven site licenses around the city, dictating hours of operation and making mobility, one of the perks of being on wheels, rather impossible. Once all those spots are occupied like they are now, that's it for us. No sharing of spots, no new trucks. Thankfully some trucks have bypassed the law by operating in private lots. A perfectly legal manoeuvre, it allows others to bring street eats to areas of the city not designated under the bylaw.

Enter The Food Wolf. Set up in so-called Squiggle Park at the corner of Faulkland and Gottingen streets, the Wolf serves up Korean and Asian fusion to North End's hungriest. On any given day the locally sourced menu can include kimchi quesadillas, Korean pork burgers, Mexican beef tacos, green onion pancakes, and the hot dog of all hot dogs, the K-Dawg. Smothered in bacon, kimchi, a spicy Korean mayo, and a generous garnish of sesame seeds and green onions, it's got addiction written all over it. A hot dog a day can't be bad right?

One things for sure, there's no slowing down for Team Food Wolf, Natalie Chavarie, Virgil Muir and Eric Gunnels. They even recently loaded the truck on a freight-liner bound for New Brunswick to feed the hungry concert goers at SappyFest.  Food truck love at its finest. Whether you dig Korean or Asian or not, I have a feeling the Wolf will change your mind. They even have a new age app so you can track their location. Social media for the win.

But the good news doesn't stop there. A few food trucks are rocking the streets outside of city limits. Find the Growlin' Grumman serving up burger, fries and poutine in Windsor, the Orange Ukele, a grilled cheese truck rolling around the Annapolis Valley, Amby's Eats dishing up tacos, inventive burgs, and risotto balls in New Glasgow, not to mention all the fish n' chip trucks you can find just about everywhere.

If you haven't guessed it already, I'm going to cross every truck off my list one by one. Because, let's be real, I just can't help myself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

DISH | Chorizo Baked Eggs, a Sausage Fest 2013 original

When Alex of Local Connections first hinted at Sausage Fest 2013, I was immediately thrilled. A whole week dedicated to the sausage? Count me in. Plus, it seemed only natural that the Halifax Food Bloggers throw together a recipe contest where sausage was the star. With several local producers of some amazing sausage, it would make for an interesting, not to mention delicious, challenge.

When I sat down and thought about what sausage to feature, it was an easy decision. I'm madly in love with all things Charcuterie Ratinaud and their chorizo was no different. The spicy pork would make the perfect base to putaneggonit.

Oh yes, I did it again.

Last week, while finishing up some last minute things which included saying goodbye to my cooking class crew and recording a CBC segment with Simon Thibault in which we whipped up my famous (well, according to treeplanters at least!) mint brownies, I also somehow found time to cook and shoot my recipe. You see, Brent and I have embarked on a new adventure for the remainder of the summer which takes us to Maitland, NS. But that's another post. You'll wanna stay tuned for that one.

With the deadline looming, here I am sitting at the kitchen table in my new country home writing away.   So, without further adieu, I give you...

Chorizo Baked Eggs

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 2 chorizo sausages, casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 whole chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3-4 eggs
  • garnish: green onions, cilantro, feta cheese, avocado 

Preheat oven to 375. 

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions til browned. Add garlic and cook 2 min more. Add remaining ingredients except eggs, being sure to crumble the sausage into the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer 15 min.

Crack eggs on top and bake until just set, about 8 min.

Serve garnished with sliced green onions, cilantro, crumbled feta cheese and a side of avocado slices.

Serves 2-4.

Be sure to stay peeled to the Halifax Food Blogger's facebook page for all the entries. We'll also announce the top three recipes that will go head to head August 18th at the Incredible Picnic & Sausage BBQ, the closing Sausage Fest 2013 event that is not to be missed.