Recap: Goodfood #7

Last week, we took had another Goodfood box. Its been quite nice to have these coming in although it makes for some late night cooking sessions since I mostly take these for lunch and my husband has it for dinner. Our working schedules being in the way of actually sitting down and having these meals together. However, it does help cut down especially since I’m slowly getting a little faster. Some meals like one of these actually came rather close to the time they said it would take which made me feel quite good about myself. This box was one that we took quite a few chances on so let’s see how it turned out.

Kicking us off, we start with…

Chef Garnier’s Thai Shrimp Curry with Bell Pepper, Tomatoes & Couscous

goodfood

Chef Garnier’s Thai Shrimp Curry

This box’s highlight menu is Chef Garnier’s recipe for Thai Shrimp Curry. I have to say that this one was a delight. It had a bit of heat but I was okay with it also. The sauce was delicious and we put the couscous as the bed and it meshed so well to give this nice consistency and texture to the whole meal. We’ve made a few curries from these boxes (not always Goodfood) and this one is hands down my favorite. I’d make it again (or order it again if it showed up on the choices). An absolute great start to the week.

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Gemelli Pasta & Garlic Chives

goodfood

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Gemelli Pasta

If there was a meal that highlighted this box, it would be this one. Chicken Piccata and fresh gemelli pasta. I already like gemelli pasta to start with and I love chicken and the sauce here is fantastic. The cooking process got a little dangerous for me because the oil splashed up and grazed my cheek which was painful but the husband took over and got it all under control. It was so delicious and honestly, if I knew where to get capers, I’m down to make this one again. Well, maybe prep it and have the husband do the actual cooking.

Black Bean Burrito with Mango, Cucumber and Roasted Pepper Salsa

goodfood

Black Bean Burrito

I’m really sorry that this doesn’t look like much. The way to do it would be to take pictures of the salsa, the cooked ingredients before stuffing it up because it turned out to be quite a bit so I ate it pretty deconstructed. The rice was very good for the burrito however, the salsa is great on the side. Having it on the inside had this weird taste. It was fresh and I like mangoes so it didn’t bother me too much but I’d have had a bowl of mangoes on the side and added in the cucumbers and roasted peppers to the rice and black bean blend. It was a nice thought though and it was pretty alright.

Beef Lomo Saltado over Roasted Potatoes with Soy Sauce & Spicy Jalapeno

goodfood

Beef Lomo Saltado

As you can see, the potatoes were a tad overcooked. Not sure why. But my best guess is either the cook time was a little too much (which it obviously was) and that the potatoes were not sliced thick enough. My husband ate both of these ones because I can’t have jalapeno and beef isn’t my favorite type of meat. He only ended up using half of the jalapeno pepper. It seemed decent.

Overall, this box was pretty good. We like two of the meals a lot. The burrito was pretty decent as well. I wouldn’t eat it as a complete burrito but as deconstructed, it was still pretty tasty. The preparation times were all very decent and nothing too crazy. I like the fact that Goodfood uses the oven more with its recent recipes. Ovens are great for multitasking and its something I implement a lot in my everyday cooking as well. If not, its just boiling everything in salted water when I want to eat healthier. Still enjoying these boxes quite a bit.

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MTL a Table 2017: Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

MTL a Table is upon Montreal again!! It runs from November 2 to 16. The amount of restaurants seems to have increased quite a bit and has expanded the geography spread a little more to restaurants located a little further than the downtown, Old Montreal and Plateau Mont-Royal area which is the popular spots for restaurants. The menus however were quite a challenge to figure out with less that works for us. With that said, we ended up deciding on going to check out Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises for dinner. Last year, we checked it out for their brunch menu and it was incredibly delicious so we have high hopes for this one. You can check out last year’s post HERE.

Let’s see what their dinner menu looks like!

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises
MTL a Table Dinner Menu

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises has a really nice ambiance and is located a quieter part of Old Montreal.

Cocktails

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Bloody Caesar

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Sangria Blanche

Being a brasserie definitely gives this place at least some guarantees of making a decent drink and for both of these, they were really good. My husband had the Bloody Caesar which he orders whenever he goes out to a restaurant and my typical is white sangria. What is so great about sangria is the fruity taste of it all and how essentially every restaurant can have their own twist. This one is a little stronger with a more obvious taste of the triple sec however, still a very good one.

First Course

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Smoked Duck Carpaccio, candied orange, spicy mesclun

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Chickpea and beetroot hummus, basil pesto, roasted pepper, grilled pita bread

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Smoked red peppers cream, mini grilled cheese au fromage Louis d’Or de Sainte- Elisabeth de Warwick

I’m fairly certain Phoebe will hop on here at some point to check out the post and she will tell you all about the Duck Carpaccio in the comments (along with her choice of the confit duck leg and waffles in the second course). I had the hummus and OMG, was it scrumptious!! The grilled pita was great and it went well with the hummus which was so unique. My husband had the soup and the grilled cheese. The grilled cheese was kind of a tease being so little but he liked it however, him being not a soup person, he did give higher compliments to the roasted pepper cream.

Second Course 

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Smoked salmon filet, smoked potato salad, dried sausages with cheese, maple virgin sauce

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Grilled waffle with confit duck leg from Brome Lake, onion jam, salad of the day, maple caramel and homemade beer

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Poultry, sweetbread pistachio blood sausage, roasted potatoes, crispy onions, balsamic reduction, sauerkraut with wild boar bacon

I had the sausage dish for the second course. Since these foodie adventures, I’ve gained a liking for sweetbread and in this sausage mixture oddly with pieces of pistachio poking out, it was the absolute highlight of the dish. The roasted potatoes were slightly mushy but it tasted really good. My only issue with this one was the sauerkraut however, it isn’t the fault of it and more mine since I have days that I am more in the mood for it and I just wasn’t feeling like it complimented the dish that much. My husband had the salmon and he gave it all a thumbs up. I remember a praise for the roasted potatoes salad.

Third Course

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Beeramisu and milk jam with fleur de sel

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Pouding Chomeur with maple syrup from “Les Sucres de Mont-Megantic”

Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises

Dates stuffed with goat cheese, cranberries and walnuts

Finally, we are at the third course. Most of you know about my lactose intolerance so many times, my dessert option is limited. The only option here was the dates. I’m not a fan of dates and goat cheese (which is the only cheese I can have barring the lactose-free variety). With that said, this dessert option was over the top sweet and made me feel really bad afterwards and I just ate one of the dates. Normally, I have a sweet tooth but the sweetness of the dates actually overpowered the goat cheese making it decent tasting but adding in some extra syrup and not even cranberries to balance the acidity and then the walnuts was just too much for me. However, being too sweet seems to be a big comment on our table even for my friends who took the Pouding Chomeur. However, it seems the star of the desserts goes to the twist on Tiramisu called Beeramisu which my husband said was quite good except it was leaning on the very sweet side at the end.

Overall..I’d say Bistro Brasserie Les Soeurs Grises was pretty good. Sure, the desserts weren’t to our liking but thats just probably because we’re not all immensely in love with extreme sweetness. However, the food was pretty decent and wins for both me and my husband. Definitely someplace we’d consider going out for a date night if we ever have the urge to go downtown (which is almost never unless its festival season).

Recap: Goodfood #6

Don’t worry! No slacking off on the horror marathon. Regular programming resumes later today (or at least it should since I’m writing this one before the next one).

Goodfood update again. This box is one of those boxes that really caught our eyes as it uses some great ingredients and everyday stuff and just twists on the sauce and stuff. A lot of untreaded territory here so its fun to try out. Most of it worked out really well, except for one that really might not be to our tastes so much.

Chef Garnier’s Sesame-Crusted Chicken with Sweet & Sour Veggies & Matcha Rice

Goodfood

First up was the Sesame-Crusted Chicken. Its pretty cool because I’ve always had an issue with breading things and this recipe let me learn how to figure that part out. This meal turned out quite good. Actually, everything here worked great for the chicken and the veggies. The sweet chili sauce for the veggies was a good balance to the meal. However, the matcha rice wasn’t doing it for us. I already had a suspicion about it since I’m not  a fan of matcha tea in general however, my husband is very picky with the teas that he likes so it was a hit and miss. However, matcha is a powder so it was used for the rice and it was okay. Can’t say that we’ll ever make the rice again but the chicken and veggies are a hit.

Tofu & Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings with Cucumber Salad

Goodfood

Next up is the vegetarian dumplings. This was an all around win for us. We don’t use tofu ever at home although I like it when my  mom makes it. However, I’ve never really figured out how to incorporate it into our meals and my husband isn’t a fan of the texture in general. These dumplings were really cool as it blends the mushrooms and the tofu together for the filling and the sauce is quite easy to make. I let my husband have the cucumber salad which he liked a lot as well. We are slowly trying to eat healthier and possibly seeing the potential having the occasional vegetarian meal and this one is definitely one we’ll keep on our minds especially since I love dumplings so much!

Spiced Pork Chops with Roasted Delicata Squash, Brussel Sprouts & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Goodfood

Pork chops are a frequent appearance in our house. Mostly because meats are overall quite expensive and pork chops are usually the most cost efficient option. This one was so great. It had brussel sprouts and the vinaigrette was delicious especially since we’ve never used hazelnut to put together a dressing like that. There was a hint of sweetness from the maple syrup (I believe). I’m a fan of squashes in general but my husband is quite picky with them. However, he loved the delicata squash which is the first time I’ve ever made them and they are a win for us both. We loved them so much that I went ahead to the grocery store a few days ago and picked up some more.

Tourtiere-Spiced Meatballs with Mushroom Sauce & Roasted Veggies

Goodfood

Finally, the last choice were tourtiere-spiced meatballs. I’m usually on the fence with the meatballs meals. It always feel odd to use meatballs without spaghetti. Another thing to note here is that I replaced the green beans with brussel sprouts. I guess I could file it under a slight complaint is that when Friday night came around (which is about 5 days since we received the box), the green beans weren’t looking too good. I’m guessing if I waited another day, mold would have happened. Anyways, to be safe, I threw them out and replaced the veggies with what I had on hand. However, the meal was really great. Beef is not my first choice however the meatballs tasted good and the tourtiere flavors are definitely there. The mushroom sauce turned out a little too thick for us however the taste was also on point. The veggies were good also.

Overall…the last week’s box was pretty good. It was a win on all fronts. Sure, the matcha rice didn’t work with us quite so much but everything else was pretty awesome. My fave meal of this box (and its hard to choose) would probably be the pork chops although the dumplings are quite close behind.

Recipe: Maple-Bourbon Wings

It feels like forever since I’ve picked up the cookbook and actually did a recipe! Hopefully, it’ll happen more frequently in the near future. The plans are always there but somehow the time just isn’t.

This past weekend, I decided to try out a recipe from the latest issue of Food Network for October 2017. They have a Fried Maple-Bourbon Wings and frying is so annoying, including the clean-up work afterwards that I decided to use their recipe but modify a little to bake in the oven.

Here’s the recipe and how it turned out.

Maple-Bourbon Wings
(inspired by Fried Maple Bourbon Wings in Food Network October 2017 Issue)

Maple Bourbon Wings

Ingredients

2 lbs Chicken Wings
1 small shallot
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup bourbon
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles)
Oil

  1. Preheat oven at 375C.
  2. Mince the shallot in a small bowl. Add in maple syrup and bourbon and oil. Stir together. Then add in ketchup and dijon mustard. Mix well.  Add adobo sauce if you’d like (we didn’t).
  3. In a larger bowl, cover the sauce over the chicken wings. If you have time, its best to cover and let marinate it in the fridge for as long as you can.
  4. In a lined sheet pan, lay out your wings in a single layer. Remember to keep a little distance so it doesn’t stick together. Oil if using aluminum sheet as to not stick. Pour remaining sauce over the wings.
  5. Put in oven for 25 minutes, turning halfway or until cooked through.

With that said, that was still a diversion of the actual recipe. If you want to challenge yourself to the fried one. just drop me an email and I can send it to you. Or leave a comment or whatnot. Regardless, I did keep a part of the original recipe there in terms of ingredients although removing a few things you need to fry it, like flour and such. My substitutes here really came down to using green onions instead of shallots. Normally, we don’t have shallots here unless it comes with a box and in that case, we have already used it. Green onions are not only in our backyard but also frequently not always used up to the max in the meal boxes so we have left over whenever its for garnish or whatnot.

This recipe is pretty good overall. The maple and bourbon mixture is just right. However, you should use shallots and not green onion. We assume that gave it an odd taste that took time to get used to. Ours could benefit with marinating more than 15 minutes or whatever. I usually would take the time to do it or just simmer it in the pan to let the flavors seep into the meat. It was a last minute decision to put this together.

Now to think about what to do with our second batch of chicken wings? Any suggestions?

Recap: Goodfood #5

We take a tiny break to share a little of the last Goodfood meal box!

This time was a pretty interesting mix. I honestly got it for one of the recipes and then had to take a chance on the other menus. A lot of times that is truly the fun part of these boxes to learn more about how to cook certain ingredients and take away the parts we like from it all. Do note that I couldn’t eat two of the meals and I really only realized that after the meals came and I took a closer look at the menus.

Let’s start!

Okonomiyaki with Edamame, Chinese Broccoli & Sriracha Mayo

Goodfood

First up is the recipe that I got this box for. Its the Okonomiyaki which is a Japanese pancake. It is filled with chopped cabbage. This meal was really good. I skipped on the sriracha mayo since I can’t take spicy foods too well but he also loved it a lot. The standout meal of the box right off the bat. I actually really love the sides of using edamame and chinese broccoli. Its a tasty mix for healthy sides.

Balsamic Glazed Pork with Rice Salad & Roasted Broccoli

Goodfood

We’re big fans of pork chops. For the most part, this meal was pretty good. The acidity of the dish was well-balanced. The roasted broccoli was pretty interesting since I’ve never made broccoli like that and particularly with those spices. The only part that turned out a tad funky was the rice salad and it really had to do with using figs. But that might be my fault because I’m horrible at cutting anything into fine and small pieces. The figs turned out to be just a tad odd for both our tastes. It felt like I had tossed in fig newtons and I like fig newtons, just not in my rice.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Quinoa & Roasted Red Pepper-Tahini Dressing

Goodfood

The next two meals are the ones that I couldn’t eat.

Stuffed sweet potatoes looked really good and I could have done these without the sauce but I felt like it wouldn’t make much sense plus the sweet potatoes were so tiny and they weren’t doing too hot after sitting in the fridge for a few days. Its odd for it to go bad so quickly but I had to toss one of them out. I’ll talk about this issue that I’ve had with even the other box I ordered at the end. However, it was a pretty cool experience making the quinoa blend and especially the roasted pepper tahini dressing which could be useful for future recipes for my husband.

Pappardelle a la Bolognese with Parmesan Chips & Celery Salad

Goodfood

Excuse the messy presentation

Funny how being on vacation turns out to be the hardest time to actually sit down and make a meal. So this meal turned out to be an afterthought particularly in the photographing it part. However, my husband learned that he’s not a fan of pappardelle which I figured since he’s not a fan of thick pastas with the exception of lasagna. The parmesan chips turned out to be overcooked however, the husband said it was good (although I think he’s just being polite). We skipped on the celery but instead used it to make a shrimp and celery stir fry for me since I was pretty much left with nothing much to eat after discovering that the pasta seemed to have cheese all over it, although I’d have to research a little on pappardelle to know if it is but I wanted to be extra safe.

Overall…

This box was half and half. We loved the Okonomiyaki, liked the Glazed Pork, thought the sweet potatoes were decent but didn’t really like the pappardelle. We’ve definitely had better boxes but this one did really fulfill the whole foodie eating experience to learn to cook new things and try new flavors.

**Referring to the thought back in the sweet potatoes section, we’ve had issues with the previous box as to the order to best cook these menus. Obviously, we just stick the bags in the fridge and sometimes, the humidity in the fridge will cause certain veggies to go bad quicker than normal. However, if we split it up then we’re scared that we’ll lose and ingredient or something. Either way, it always baffles me how the companies don’t give a general idea of numbering their menus as to the order they should preferably be cooked to avoid any veggies losing their freshness or going bad. For the most part, its not a huge problem but sometimes, it could be and it sucks to lose out on ingredients especially when its just the fact of being one day later due to life happening. Maybe it sounds like a silly complaint and its great that they already put best before dates on their meat, which I like a lot, however, its how I feel.**

We are still loving Goodfood experience and already have our next box chosen and waiting for it next week. Its been busy so we’re particularly appreciative of having this option.

Battle of Ingredients: Fall BBQ & Moon Festival Edition!

I know its a little early to take a break from the horror marathon and it’ll resume tomorrow. However, Battle of Ingredients is our monthly segment and our gathering just happened this past weekend. I promise it’ll be a short and sweet one and one that matches perfect with today which is Midautumn Festival, mostly referred to as Moon Festival!

Fall BBQ

A warm and maybe slightly cooler welcome from me and my cohost, Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road to the next Battle of Ingredients. Due to our love for the previous BBQ session and the weather being still decent, we decided to do another BBQ event. battle of ingredients

This time, we took it to mostly basics. Mostly because we realized quite last minute that no actual plans were formulated. Also, we were both busy with personal life stuff so the final menu looked like this.

I made burger patties. Actually, because I was in a lot of pain that day, my husband being the champ that he is helped me make the patties. We got medium lean minced beef and used eggs and spices and he made the patties. He also took on the grill master role in the evening. So our event became a lot more relaxed than it usually would be. We bought the Italiano burger buns and got some cheese, gouda and lactose-free swiss.

Phoebe pulled the stops this time and brought her take on the veggie foil pack that I had tried out last time. This time, her’s had bell peppers, zucchinis and also added in two to three slices of prosciutto. The prosciutto being on the top spread its salty flavors to the veggies, making it no necessary to spice it at all.

Phoebe also found on Pinterest a way to roast corn on the grill. It simply required snipping off the top part. It turned out perfect! She also brought on to try roasting eggplants on the grill as well. Most of us weren’t very into eggplants and didn’t normally cook them so in my opinion, they weren’t done too good. Definitely something to further into bettering our skills at or maybe its just better to cook them in another way.

Aside from that, this time was almost like a potluck as our friends also brought some chicken breast along with tzatzki sauce (not sure how you spell it).

We ended with our dessert.  Our friends,who is always responsible for beverages, brought the Pepito Rose Sangria and some light fruity coolers. While I forgot to take pictures of it, I brought some garden fruits like raspberries and a lot of ground cherries. Aside from that, we also had an early celebration of Moon Festival, or Midautumn Festival which most people know for eating moon cakes, a little chinese pastry with lotus paste normally.

moon cakes chow's

Phoebe found a pastry shop in Chinatown called La Patisserie Chow that makes their own moon cakes and we were interested to see how they were so she bought the box with their bestselling four flavors.

  • Double yolk White Lotus Paste
  • Double Yolk Green Bean Paste
  • 5 Stars Mix (5 different nuts, sweet melon and tangerine)
  • Golden Double Yolk Paste

Our biggest issue was that each one wasn’t labelled. We easily could identify the white lotus paste one which was a win for both me and Phoebe. The nuts got an okay where it was good but not great. Then we have a mystery one which I personally suspect is the Golden Double Yolk Paste that my husband and our friend liked. Then there was one that unanimously was pretty bad. I’m guessing its the green bean paste but it wasn’t labelled so I don’t really know.

Chow Pastry Shop is pretty commendable to have their own moon cakes. Huge applause for that. However, its better to label the variety one way or another even if the ingredients are also labelled super vaguely. I think this one could be hit or miss. Its definitely not like the ones you’d buy from the big brands. Phoebe posed a good question about how we usually do eat from the big brands and maybe traditional moon cakes with any preservatives and in their natural state would taste more like this. Perhaps one time, I’ll be in Hong Kong where actually smaller bakeries also make moon cakes or I’ll attempt it myself and we’ll see.

That’s it for this Battle of Ingredients!
Thanks for joining us!
November might be skipped because our crew usually does the MTL a Table event.
However, we’ll find a festive return in December for the holidays!

Recap: Goodfood #4

I had to take a break this weekend. Sorry about that. For many reasons, it was one I had wanted to focus on real life things. Happy stuff! Plus, it was super humid and hot so being in the office was like sitting in a preheating oven. Regardless, we stayed in mostly and did a lot of gaminh and cooking. Thanks to finishing up the last two meals from last week’s Goodfood box.

Lets check it out!

Seared Haddock with Farro and Orange-Fennel Salad

Seared Haddock Goodfood

A lot of new or ingredients we rarely use for this recipe. Haddock isn’t our usual choice of fish. And the fish part of this was tasty. Farro was new to us and its pretty much like a harder texture of brown rice ( or maybe it is brown rice…I should research it further). I’m not a hard rice sort of fan unless its in sweet congee. I didn’t eat the orange fennel salad mostly because of the not eating raw veggies thing but my husband did and his words, it was okay.

Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich with Sundried Tomato Hummus

Grilled Ratatouille Sandwich

Goodfood

Easily one of our favorite meals from this box. Its also vegetarian so thats saying a lot. Its juicy. The bread is made with a crispy outer crunch and the veggies, peppers, zucchini and multicolor chery tomatoes had a nice balanced flavor. You can make this for a fancy bbq sandwich idea if you’d like plus, the sundried tomato hummus was absolutely heavenly. Yummy!

Chinese Five Spice Chicken with Snow Pea Tips, Beans and Quinoa Salad

Chinese Five Spice Chicken

I’ve had five spices flavored stuff when I went to Hong Kong however, since my mom’s not much for spicing up food too much, I’ve never had much exposure. With that said, trying out five spices, it being a chicken dish and the fact that it had snow pea tips (which is one of my ultimate favorite veggies) made this one so awesome. However, we did make a little twist to this and cooked the snow pea tips as well with all the ingredients that would have gone in the salad which actually ended up fantastic. I’d do this one again any day. Now to figure out where to find five spices in the Chinese supermarket nearby. 😉

Chef Jonathan Garnier’s Fresh Tagliatelle with Lebanese Moussaka

Fresh Tagliatelle Goodfood

Definitely an interesting choice here. We’re big fans of fresh pasta. I’d like to say that we’ve actually been buying fresh pasta options more than the dry ones. We also don’t eat chickpeas or eggplants a lot either but this one had some nice spices. Not to mention my husband did a fine job of putting it together. Not sure what Lebanese Moussaka was before. In fact, I’ve never heard of it before and it was pretty good. Definitely a nice way to incorporate chickpeas and eggplants into everyday meals.

That’s it for this Goodfood recap!
It was a success with 3 meals that we absolutely loved and one that we liked well enough.