My in-laws took me out for a little post Christmas dinner. We wanted to go to Supply and Demand, but they were booked for a private party. So we decided to visit Juniper, an old standby. The food was very good and richly satisfying. Even after Christmas dinner. The service was attentive and friendly.
Every year, I venture over to Ottawa to celebrate Christmas with family. This year, no different, well except there were around 27 people this year. A record. We had the luxury of being able to use kitchens of houses right next door to each other. There were two 17 lb turkeys. (to ensure leftovers). Five cooks, over 1.5 days of cooking and prep. Now that’s my kind of gathering. A passion for cooking definitely runs in my family.
The deli and fruit trays were crafted by yours truly.
When I first heard about this restaurant, I thought they served Newfie food. My mistake, I apologize. This is French Asian fusion cuisine. The Chef and owner is very friendly; he likes to chat with his customers when he is not busy. The restaurant was empty when we arrived for 6pm. Our meals arrived piping hot, and in good time. There was only one server, and as the restaurant got busier, the service slowed. We had to ask for the dessert menu and the bill, but that’s alright.
I’ve been waiting to try this place since they closed and moved in March. It is indeed worth the wait. The food comes in generous portions. Beware, the entrees come with two sides, that would easily serve as an appetizer. We started with the calamari. It was piping hot and crisp. I had the lamb shank with the corn chowder and house salad for an entree. The lamb was fall-off-the-bone fantastic. I liked the crisp potato skins that fell over the top. The sauce was rich and velvety. The corn chowder was smooth and creamy. The salad contained iceberg lettuce but probably would have been livened up with some dark leafy greens. It was served with a dressing that tasted like butter pecan. Yum.
Hubby wanted the prime rib but it was sold out. So he settled for the Muscovy duck. Settled is not the appropriate word. It was apparently delicious. We both followed it up with a homemade tiramisu.
The clientele seems to be mostly Asian on this night. This is upscale food in a casual decor. I suspect that restaurant is family friendly as there were young kids there.
Memories of Baja. Specifically fish tacos. I had a hankering for some this week and crawled the web for something suitable.
I bought some tilapia and pan fried it with salt and pepper. I also bought some haddock and baked it in cornmeal. To serve, I heated corn or flour tortillas with the fish on top in a frying pan. Topped with white sauce, red cabbage slaw and a squeeze of lime.
I used to call it a Christmas Cookie Exchange, but since people starting bringing all sorts of cookies, it’s an excuse for those of us that like to bake to get together during the holidays. I think in terms of numbers, this was the most cookies I’ve had at an exchange. We had everything from traditional holiday shortbread to cheesecake tarts. I baked my famous black sea salt caramel cookies and matcha cookies. I love the variety. Sadly, I end up giving most of it away at work, or to friends. If I ate all that, I would be a blimp!
For snacks, I made some mulled cider (non alcoholic). I also ordered a pumpkin spice cake from Fraiche Desserts. They are local and make wonderful desserts and baked goods. I also found some savoury Indian doughnuts at the Dalbrent Spice Rack. They are gluten free, but are made in a factory with wheat. So, not for celiacs. They went really well with the sweet and spicy chutneys.
After visiting Big Fish today, I decided to continue with the seafood theme. I went to Billingsgate to pick up eight Village Bay oysters and a fillet of Artic Char. I simply pan fried the fish with lemon pepper Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper.
- 8 oysters in the shell
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbs butter
- 1/4 C panko crumbs
- 5 tbs grated parmesan cheese
Shuck the oysters. It helps if you have an oyster shucker. If not, try a flat head screwdriver. Arrange the oysters on a baking sheet or pie plate. Use the extra shells so they will be level. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add to the panko and mix well. Top each oyster with some green onion. Spoon on top some of the panko mixture. Top with parmesan cheese. Broil on high until the cheese melts.
These are a little over browned, but still tasty!
I was going through my list of things that I would get around to trying. Kimchi and Korean seafood pancake were on it. Last weekend, I made kimchi salad according to this recipe. It was quite tasty. This week, the leftovers became kimchi fried rice.
Kimchi Fried Rice
- 2 cups leftover kimchi, chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1 small onion
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3-4 cups cooked rice
- oil for frying
- salt and pepper
- soy sauce
Beat eggs and add a dash of salt. Scramble and chop. Saute the onions in a little oil until slightly cooked. Cook ground pork in a pan with a little oil until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of oil to a wok. Add the cooked rice, breaking up the chunks until it is warm. Add the eggs, onion, meat and kimchi to the rice. Add dashes of soy sauce to taste. Cook until heated through.
This week I tried to make Korean seafood pancake, or haemul pajeon. I followed this recipe. Well, most of it.
I used a package of small frozen shrimp and small scallops for the seafood. I actually found the Korean pancake mix at the Korean grocery store. By the way, sweet rice flour is also known as glutinous rice flour. Note that it doesn’t actually contain gluten! I think it refers to the rice being sticky.
I decided, that because the only large frying pan I owned is 12″ to fry twice instead of three times. A bit of a mistake. The pancake fell apart when I tried to flip it. I’ll need to follow the instructions with my new 8″ Calphalon pan or buy a 10″… Decisions. Oh well, it turned out tasty.