Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hot Chilies in the City

The next time someone asks, "Is it hot enough for ya?" and you say, "No," it may be time to add some heat to your summer with hot chili peppers. Read my column about locally-grown chilies in the Star Phoenix.

Nichol Baked Poblanos
Milk is the best antidote to chilies’ heat. In this recipe, named for chili enthusiast R. J. Nichol, the cheese is a counter to a light touch of heat.

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Several grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup squash purée (see note below)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 cup Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
4 poblano chilies

Place the jalapeno, bell pepper, half the onion (1/3 cup), garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, salt and pepper in a blender. With a potato masher, press the tomatoes to release their juices. Blend to a purée. Measure and add water to make 2 cups. Pour into a 9x9 inch baking dish.    

In a bowl, mix the squash, cornmeal, remaining onions, cayenne, cumin and half the cheese (1/2 cup). Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions.

Cut the poblano chilies in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Fill each half with squash mixture and place in the sauce, cut side up. Spread the remaining cheese. Cover with tinfoil. Bake at 400F for 45 min., until the poblanos are tender. Uncover and broil until the cheese is lightly brown.

Note: To make squash purée, cut a squash in half. Scrape out the seeds. Bake, cut side down, at 375F until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Baking times vary with the squash, about 45 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and mash well. In this dish, I used pumpkin, a slightly sweet squash.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Restaurant Review - Souleio

Souleio means "sun" in old Provencal, the language of romance and minstrels in medieval France, and there are many reasons to sing the praises of this sunny bistro. Read my review of Souleio in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

Souleio's windows on the world - 265 3rd Ave. S.

Smoked tomato and Brie sandwich for me.
Watermelon salad for Ashleigh.

 Ordering from the chalk menu.

Saskatoon berry lemonade.

265 3rd Avenue S.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Heat of Summer

Four kinds of peppers: red bell pepper, jalapeno, cayenne and poblano, purchased from Grandora Gardens at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market ~ delicious in this baked dish with just the right amount of sweet and heat. The recipe will appear in my food column in Tuesday's Star Phoenix.

The pepper expert ~ R.J. at Grandora Gardens' market stall ~ pictured here with the super spicy Naga pepper ~ so hot he keeps them hidden behind the till! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Restaurant Review - Park Cafe

People who love the Park Cafe really love it. They may argue if it's tops in Saskatoon for breakfast or lunch, but they offer no argument about the retro charm, friendly efficient staff and good food. Read my review of the Park Cafe in today's Star Phoenix:

Retro decor.

A big Steak Sandwich.

All day breakfast.

Partick Hearn and Kent Rumple outside their Park Cafe.

 512 20th Street W.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Community Farmers' Markets

Saskatoon's largest farmers' market is Saturday at River Landing, but there are smaller farmers' markets throughout the week at convenient locations around the city. These are generally not the same farmers/vendors you'll find at the Saskatoon Farmers' Market. Here's the 2012 schedule for the Community Farmers' Market from their facebook page.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Restaurant Review - The Bus Stop

Food trucks are all the rage in some cities, but in Saskatoon we have an authentic London double-decker food bus! Great hot dogs, aka the Riverbank Frank. Read my review of the Bus Stop in the Star Phoenix.

Henry Drake chomps into a Riverbank Frank.

Spadina and 21st E.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Restaurant Review - Hudsons

It was the eve of Canada Day and we were just back from vacation. With little food in the fridge (and no flags to wave) we did the next best thing - went out for dinner at the most red and white, flag-waving, Canada-gushing restaurant in the city.

Read  my review of Hudsons Canadian Tap House in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

Hudsons Canadian Tap House - Saskatoon 

The John Candy

Sirloin Steak with really yummy mashed potatoes

Maple Blondie for dessert!

401 21st Street E.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Community Gardening

Great concept - Free for All Gardens. I'd even volunteer to weed!!

See article in the Globe & Mail.