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August 2008

29 August 2008

New York


Just back from a whirlwind trip of New York. It was everything I had expected it to be and more. It was overwhelming, dazzling, exhausting and scrumptious. The trip could best be summed up as a total food fest. To try and explain it visually, just imagine two little yellow packmen chomping their way around the city - that was us.

Armed with a list of restaurants to try out and our voracious appetites, our culinary travels took us around the streets of Manhattan, to Brooklyn, to Long Island and New England.  We had both good and bad experiences but on the whole, they were pretty impressive.

Thank you to everyone who recommended places for us to try. We certainly have some favourites. And, in the coming weeks, we'll share with you some of our photos and experiences.

Even though I've only been back a day, I can't wait to relive my holiday through Taste Buddies. I think you'll enjoy it too.

11 August 2008

The Big Apple


We're heading to New York for the next two weeks. It has long been a desire of mine to tread the city's famed streets and now that the time has come, I'm filled with a mixture of excitement and apprehension of the impending sensory overload.

With New York, you get the impression that it's not just hype. Anytime you mention that you're going to New York, you're greeted with genuine excitement - especially if that person has been there themselves.

"You have to see MOMA... Rockefeller... Ellis Island... the Statue, etc, etc, etc"

So, along with our luggage and anticipation, we leave with a thousand tips from friends and also have our own large list of things to see and do... and eat of course.

We're not setting ourselves an itinerary, though. We're going to miss thousands of galleries, festivals and tourist attractions -- simply because the city is just too damn big to pack into a couple of weeks. Instead, we'll just wander the streets and let ourselves be pulled in whatever direction New York's gravity is flowing.

We're bringing the camera, of course, and hopefully will have some culinary adventures to share upon our return.

08 August 2008

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms


The delicate flower of young zucchini is something I look forward to each summer. They are a real delicacy in most countries however, they grow in abundance in their native Central America.

When I was in Oaxaca, Mexico, I'd see mountains of the flowers being sold in the local markets. Not so in Vancouver. So when I did finally see the prized blossom I bought as many as I could. I bought both male and female blossoms. Female blossoms grow directly out of the zucchini fruit whereas the male flowers grow directly on the stems of the plant.

Using the word 'stuffed' with 'zucchini blossoms' just seems wrong on all levels however I cannot find a better word and judging by all the other recipes out there, neither can anyone else. I looked up 'stuff' in a thesaurus and some of the synonyms included 'overload', 'force', 'ram' and 'jam'. All wrong. I was hoping to find a word that would better describe the way you have to tenderly fill the blossoms with the ingredients.

I guess sometimes literality trumps sounding pretty and delicate because the blossoms are literally stuffed with a creamy mixture of ricotta, garlic, fresh basil, egg and a little salt. They are then dipped in a light batter of flour and soda water and then deep fried for a few minutes.


While it almost seems a sin to deep fry such a delicate thing the result is worth it because they remain just as delicate to eat. The batter coats the flowers ever so lightly but still has a satisfying crunch when you bite into its warm, creamy centre.

Continue reading "Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms" »

06 August 2008

Smoked Salmon Pizza with Caramelized Onions


There some people who have serious aversions to things that I love such as coriander and onions. These are two ingredients that I can't live without and that feature prominently in my day-to-day meals.

These 'people' to whom I refer to is actually a girlfriend of mine who also happens to be a vegetarian or more a pescatarian. She hates onions. especially when they are raw. She will go to great lengths to pick out the offending vegetable from her food and always avoids anything on the menu that may contain them.

For her birthday I treated her to a summer seafood cooking class. We went together and were eagerly anticipating the night's seafood bounty. You can imagine both of our silent horror when several of the recipes prominently featured ONIONS. I cast a sideways glance at her and she at me. We giggled and then both settled into a heavy silence. I said "um, maybe you can push them to the side" to which she replied sweetly, "oh yes, it'll be fine...I'm sure it'll all be delicious."

We watched nervously as the chef prepared the first dish, a smoked salmon pizza with caramelized onions. He dexterously peeled and sliced 15 large brown onions all the while chatting about the process of caramelizing the ominous mountain of onions. She gulped.

Continue reading "Smoked Salmon Pizza with Caramelized Onions" »

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