10.16.2011

finally

Finally, finally, finally, I've got this just right.

These are so wickedly absurdly good, I can't believe that I haven't discovered them earlier. "Oh?" You say. Yes, that's right, I do. These little veggie-curry-cakes are not only tasty, but full of cauliflower!

It has taken me a few disastrous attempts to recreate a friends' recipe, and trust me, the failed tries were so very bad, that I was skeptical that I should even try again. I had to though. Just trust me when I say that chickpea flour can be very, very bitter.

First off, it is easy to get tired of just eating plain old cauliflower and broccoli, and most improvements on taste, definitely forgo any reasons to eat these tree-like friends for health. Secondly, my kid will eat nearly anything. Okay, so the liver and onion pâté I made for dinner, he didn't really like. However, he does love to eat sautéed onions by the boatload, and will eat gobs of blackberries more tart than most lemons. But cauliflower? Broccoli? Forget it. Hide it? Ha! Disguise it? He'll still recognize it. But in these patties? It even stumped him! Although, he does love curries and spices in general.

I guess you could say that these are mostly potato cakes with a good swack of other veggies, and then some curry powder and cumin to liven things up.

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The recipe makes 16 patties, but it is exceedingly difficult to not eat at least a few...
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Cauliflower-Potato Cakes

Makes 16 patties

1/2 head cauliflower (3 cups), cut into large pieces
4 medium red potatoes, halved
4 medium new potatoes (white), halved
1/4 cup very finely diced red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tbsp chickpea flower (or other flour you prefer)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil for frying

1. In a large stock pot, cover all the vegetables, with water and bring to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt. Cook until the potatoes and cauliflower is fork tender. Drain, and let cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, place the spices, chickpea flour, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
3. Add the vegetables to the bowl, and mash with a potato masher, and stir to combine everything together into a dough.
4. Using a griddle or nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Make patties by filling and ice cream scoop with the dough, release it onto the pan, and then flatten it into a pattie with a spatula. Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes, until golden brown. Consume immediately, or freeze for later. Enjoy!

10.02.2011

borgo trattoria



Eggplant "fritta" with fennel yogourt.  Looks good right?

Yes. We did it. Jeff and I finally made it out of the house for a date! Yes, I know it's nearly unbelievable, and we are both still pinching ourselves even though it was over a week ago.

Soon to be Calgary's newest hot-spot, if it's not already, Borgo Trattoria is the obvious choice for a casual day or night adventure with friends, family, and even romance. Borgo is the brainchild of Capo's Giuseppe di Gennaro, and is tucked away in Mount Royal Village Shops, just off 17th Ave SW. Borgo is modern and sleek, but also familial and jovial. It is designed for everyday enjoyment, but with a touch of refinement.

Things I love about Borgo. It's Italianness. The all day bar/caffe/eating/watering/gathering place. Italian cocktails that I didn't have to fly over the Atlantic to enjoy. Food value. People watching.

I feel the value for food needs some emphasis. The portions are decidedly small, as in a Venetian cicheti wine bar experience, as are the prices. Want a meatball? That's $2. The menu is designed for tasting, to accompany a drink and more importantly, a good time with friends. If one is to order many different dishes to whet the palate, then large portions are ill-suited to this pursuit. Of course, there is nothing stopping anyone from ordering multiple portions of the items they enjoy the most to make the volume of food larger and price-comparable to family chain restaurants. Have I had a better arancino? Sure, but one can't really compare the arancini at a night market on the main piazza of a nearly forgotten small Italian village either. Did I order more arancini after the first one? Guilty as charged.


I dare say Calgary has a spectacular offering of high-end fine dining restaurants. It is refreshing to find that I am not the only one who thinks we need more restaurants in the middle price range with exceptional food, offering a good value.

It's newness and seeming popularity, hopefully doesn't make it blissfully unaware, as there are kinks to be worked out. But gauging from Gennaro's track record at Capo with exceptional service and food, I am hopeful for Borgo's future. We definitely enjoyed the night and are plotting our next escape to Borgo.

Oh right. For the first time, EVER, someone asked me why I was taking pictures! And it was the manager. My response? "Oh for fun." It is technically true though!



Aperol negroni. This gives me chills up my spine just thinking about it!




Bucatini "Amatriciana".  I love to make this at home too.


Plump little gnocchi.  This was exceptionally filling, but worth every bite!


Flank steak (on left), veal (near top), green beans, and borlotti beans.


One of my favourite preparations for the humble green bean is paired with tomato sauce.


Flank steak, one of my favourite dishes of the night.


Veal with sage butter.


One can never have too much dessert.


Borgo Trattoria
818 16 Ave SW
Calgary, AB T2R 0S9
(403)245-2202
7 days a week, 7:30am - until late, no reservations
Borgo Trattoria on Urbanspoon

8.13.2011

carrot-beet salad

There's always room for a few more veggies. That's right, I didn't say dessert. But it's true, there should probably be room for all of us to eat a few more brightly coloured delicious foods grown in the soil or right out of it.

One of my favourite ways to change up boredom from green salads is to make a salad of grated vegetables. Coleslaw is all fine and good, but why leave it at that?

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You can purchase shares in a band-aid company, or alternatively use a food processor with a grating attachment. It's definitely a life-saver on more than one front.

Perhaps I should chop the parsley a little finer, but no one was complaining. Albeit a tad rustic perhaps. Others would say lazy. I prefer colourful!
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Summery Carrot-Beet Salad

2 medium beets
4 large carrots
1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
juice of one lime
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
pinch of ground cloves (optional)

1. Chop and grate the beets and carrots in a food processor, no peeling necessary. Chop the parsley as fine as you like, and combine with the grated vegetables in a medium serving bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice with the olive oil and spices.
3. Combine all ingredients in the bowl, until the vinaigrette is thoroughly distributed. Enjoy!

p.s. This is also great the next day as a "topping" for a green salad.

7.30.2011

summer, at last

I suppose you could say that I've been a little bored. Or perhaps that isn't quite accurate, it's more like uninspired. In the last few months I've had a strange myriad of health concerns, all of which seem like they have just magically... vanished. Of course, I'm thrilled! However, in the meantime, creating the most fantastically rich and sinful ice creams, sugary popsicles, or tender and juicy chops on the grill, haven't exactly felt like priorities when simultaneously reading about all-kale-all-the-time diets. Yes, I've read it all. And then some.

Pair this with the pressure of feeding an infant who is the spitting image of me, and the pressure mounts to ensure he does not have the same strange symptoms. Of course, I had to wonder just how similar he is, and the great motherly protective nature just increased nearly infinitely...

I suppose you'll see a few changes around here in the long term. Although, don't worry, I'm sure I will get back to eating some semblance of dessert eventually. It will probably have kale in it though, just in case.

As I get back to sharing, I'll be looking for inspiration. So why not start with everything I'd love to eat in August? Here's a teaser from Pinterest, where you can virtual pin boards of inspiration and share them with friends.

August Eats Pinterest
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