Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quick Eats With Left Over Curry Chicken

Last week I made off a big batch of Curry Chicken. Nothing special, a very quick effort to use up chicken thighs before they went off. Feeling relatively lazy last night while rummaging for supper, I found a few ingredients and threw them together.

I started by toasting a pita. I then topped it with yogurt, mango chutney, and banana slices.
Whilst toasting and topping my pita I heated some curry chicken. I then added it to the pita.

I wrapped it up and enjoyed! All my favorite flavours (minus the rice) of curry chicken as a wrap. Lovely.

So for anyone who has some lingering curry chicken lying around and looking for a quick bite, give it a go.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Winterlicious 2011

Well I'll start by saying these reviews will be entirely text based. I came to each Winterlicious meal with camera in tow, however at each I forgot to remove it upon checking my coat.

For those not based in Toronto, or familiarly with it, Winterlicious is one of two city wide culinary events held within certain participating restaurants within Toronto. The other being Summerlicious. Each lasting 2 weeks.

So far this year I have been for one lunch and one dinner. I am set to go to one on Thursday, however after hearing a disastrous review of their Winterlicious dinner, I am inclined to save my 45$ and dine somewhere other then Sassafraz.

For lunch I went to Fuzion. A small restaurant located on church street, in between Bloor and Wellesley. Offering a 3 course meal at 20$ per lunch and 35$ per dinner, and the exact same menu offered for each, it seemed lunch was only logical.

For my first course I ordered the chocolate glazed side ribs with habanero mojo. The dish arrived within 7 minutes or so. The presentation was gorgeous, the concept excellent, and the execution poor. The ribs them selves were luke warm, the meat was relatively tough. Worst of all was even dipped in the habanero and pineapple concoction, it was all near flavourless.

For the second course I ordered the venison osso buco. The mains took maybe 10 minutes of finishing the aps to reach the table. I must say, this was truly a hit in my books. Served with a small section of marrow bone, on top of a cauliflower puree, and a juniper berry game sauce. The sauce delicious, the marrow, great, and the meat itself tender, and very flavourful.

For dessert I had the Clementine Mousse. It was served with a blood orange slice atop a bit of sauce/compote, with some sort of dessert stick accompaniment. Whilst maintaining a nice flavour, I did not entirely appreciate the texture of the frozen mousse. The dessert stick was tough and lacking in any real depth, all in all just another unpleasant texture.

The verdict? Well short of first and last courses, it was a great meal. And with a 20$ price tag, I wouldn't have too much trouble recommending it based sheerly on main courses.

For the dinner, I attended Lai Toh Heen, located on Mt. Pleasant, just south of Eglington. They boasted 2 different menus. One at 35$ and another at 45$, whilst no noteable difference at first glance, upon closer inspection the 45$ gave you 1 extra piece of dim sum with your first course, and the ability to have 2 smaller portioned mains. Deciding to for go my usual alcoholic beverage with my meal, I compensated by ordering the 45$ meal.

First to arrive were the appetizers, I ordered the deep fried jumbo prawn. However my jumbo prawn was to arrive at the table in form of cream of chicken and mushroom soup. I quickly pointed out their mistake and awaited my appetizer.

Whilst waiting for the re-emergence of my first course, the second course of dim sum arrived. Consisting of a deep fried tofu brick on a stick, a dungeness crab meat dumping, and a shrimp sui mei, served with garlic infused soy sauce. All where tasty with pleasant textures, albeit the tofu lacked flavour.

Whilst half way through my dim sum, my appetizer made its second appearance in proper form this time. A hulking, lightly battered prawn, with small lightly battered pieced of asparagus, served with two types of hot sauce. Whilst not the most complex dish in all of creation, it certainly was tasty.

After maybe 15 minutes if not longer the mains showed up to the table. Better late then never. I had the wok baked lobster accompanied with the diced beef tenderloin topped with pan seared foie gras. The beef was tossed in a sweet tomato sauce, and the lobster in garlic sauce. The lobster was a portion of half a lobster, minus the claw (my dining companion who ordered the cheaper 35$ meal received lobster a la claw). The portion of lobster containing basically only half a tail, somehow felt skimpy to me. The beef portion consisted of maybe 10 cubes of 1" by 1" beef, topped with a thin slice of foie gras. The beef portion I felt was significantly more plentiful then that of the lobster. As for taste, the lobster was ever so slightly tough, and damn near impossible to remove from the shell, but fortunatly did not taste over cooked. The beef was very tasty, tender, not fully cooked, in a sweet, but not sickeningly sweet sauce. The foie gras was a nice accompaniment.

The fourth course arrived not to long after, consisting of truffle scented noodles with scallop. It also contained slices of king oyster mushroom. There is something said for keeping things simple, theres something else to be said about keeping things too simple. Which is more or less where I stood on this dish. Whilst tasty, I could not help but feel bored and underwhelmed by this dish after consuming a few mouthfuls.

The last course, dessert, arrived fairly quickly after finishing the noodles. The dessert consisted of 3 small treats, a heart shaped mango cream, a brownie from senses bakery, and a deep fried sesame ball. The mango cream tasted like, well, mango, thumbs up. The brownie topped with chocolate sauce and an almond was very rich, and with a fairly small portion managed to be the right amount of rich chocolate flavour for my tastes. Finally the sesame ball, crisp exterior, gooey interior, and a good amount of flavour, another winner.

Thoughts? All in all a good meal, I would recommended it, not highly, but as a place to sit down, and enjoy Chinese food loaded with high end ingredients.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Lion Tacos

So as some of you may have heard, there has been some controversy going on surrounding a Tuscon Arizona Taco Bars decision to serve Lion Tacos. Recently the owner has retracted his decision to serve the bizarre tacos due to a numerous amount of threats received. Not unlike threats that bombard other restaurants serving controversial meats (seal meat restaurants being a prime example). Now whilst I in no way advocate poaching animals from the wild, killing them and selling them for any purpose including meat (however I am more likely to let meat slide then the likes of skins), this only pertains to animals that are considered vulnerable or worse mind you. I am all for hunting for FOOD. I do not support hunting as mere sporting activity. However, as I am to understand, the particular lions in question for use in the tacos, were being bred on a farm in California for just that purpose. So I ask you this, if the lions being used are being bred for the shear point of slaughter as a food source, how are these tacos any different then that of your regular cattle taco? I could understand being upset from the point of strict veganism, from someone who is against the slaughter of any animal for food, but for your average joe, it just seems hypocritical. As for me, I'll have a lion taco please. As for you? Well thats for you to decide, and feel free to leave your opinion here.