Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad Recipe – Gluten Free

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad

I was emailed this recipe and thought I’d pass it along to you.  It uses Tofu Shirataki noodles, which are made with tofu, and are gluten free.  I haven’t made this dish yet, but the ingredients look good, and should pair nicely with a BC Pinot Gris or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  I’ve listed a few after the recipe.  Enjoy.

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkg House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti shape
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons
1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 scallions, sliced
chopped peanuts
pinch chili flakes (optional)
cilantro
mint

For Dressing:
1-1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
juice from 1 lime

DIRECTIONS:

For Salad:
Prepare Tofu Shirataki according to package instructions. Cut into manageable size. Add noodles, carrot, cucumber, chicken, lettuce and scallions in a large bowl and mix well.
Top with peanuts, mint, cilantro and chili flakes (if using).
Add dressing just before serving.

For Dressing:
Combine all ingredients in small ramekin and stir.

A Few Wine Selections

You can find a some of these wines at Everything Wine. The BC wines are available online from the wineries.

Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012, BC ($24.49)

Harper’s Trail Pinot Gris 2013, BC ($18.90)

Forrest Wines “The Doctors” Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2012 (BC$19.95 SPEC)

Marisco Vineyards, The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2013 (BC $19.99 )

Haywire Baby Bub

The Arrival of Haywire Baby Bub!

BC Sparkling Rose wine = Summer Treat.  Enjoy it.  Please see the announcement that I received from Okanagan Crush Pad, then stock up!

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The team at Okanagan Crush Pad is thrilled to announce the arrival of Baby Bub. On June 20, 2014 at 5:30pm 3,600 – 375 ml bottles, weighing 3,240 Kg, were bottled at the winery, just in time to enjoy summer.

Baby Bub was crafted by Jordan Kubek, Okanagan Crush Pad’s cellar assistant with direction from chief winemaker Michael Bartier. “The Baby Bub is tasting fresh, fruity and fabulous”, noted Jordan, “and I am very happy with the results. We stayed consistent with the 2012 Pink Bub giving Baby Bub six grams of residual sugar. I love the texture as it has quite a bit of yeasty fullness. Although it is a new born, the bubbles are quite fine and you can see the direction the wine will take as it ages.”

The wine was made in the classic style using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes with secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle. It was hand riddled and warm disgorged with a red wine dosage being added at final bottling. Like its bigger siblings, Baby Bub is closed with a crown cap ensuring that cork taint does not interfere with the wine.

This tiny bottle is a young, bright shade of pale rose and is packed full of raspberry, strawberry patch and lime zest character. Its singularly distinctive taste is gun flint which lends a smokey, stoney edge to the wine and keeps it in balance with its more berry salad side.

The first 100 cases of Baby Bub is being released this July long weekend at the winery and through the order desk exclusively. Priced at $13.90 and delivered in 12 – 375 ml bottle cases, sporting hot pink artwork, Baby Bub is sure to be a big hit this summer.

Vancouver Foodster and the Best Burger Challenge

Best Burger ChallengeFrom November 5 – 30, 2012 you can taste the burger creations from 29 restaurants in Vancouver and Burnaby, then vote from November 28 – December 3 for your favourite. Visit www.vancouverfoodster.com/burger-challenge/ to find out all the restaurants and how to vote.

I had an opportunity to visit 3 of the participating restaurants with Media last week.  The burgers were all very different in their style, which I think makes the challenge interesting.  Find what you like.  The three restaurants we visited:

  • Max’s Burgers (521 West 8th Ave, Vancouver)
  • Luke’s Kitchen (2996 Granville St, Vancouver)
  • Whet (1517 Anderson St, Vancouver)

Max’s Burgers

Max’s Burgers produced a “local” burger, where all the ingredients are local.  Plus the hamburger bun is produced on premises. The beef comes from the Honest Butcher on Broadway and the bacon comes from Woodland Smokehouse.  Amber Ale white cheddar for the burger comes from the Okanagan. We were told that since they created this burger it is their top selling burger in Max’s. People like local!  I enjoyed this burger. It was well put together.  I liked the bacon in that it was not too smoky or salty, and the burger was not dripping in sauce.  The patty looked to be 1/2″ thick. Some other Media people mentioned how much they liked the home made hamburger buns.

Max’s also made their version of a Whisky Sour to go with our burger, called “Pomme de terroir“. It is a blend of local Spicebox Whisky mixed with roasted & pureed local Gala apples, and some sugar. A shrub vinegar was also added, and to top it off with R&B Cream ale foam. The baked apple mixed with the sweet spice from Spicebox Whisky was really very tasty.  I’d order it again.

If I were to pair a wine with this burger it may be a California Chardonnay, or maybe Summerhill’s ALIVE Organic Red.

Max's Burgers

Max’s Burgers

Max's local burger

Max’s local burger

Luke’s Kitchen

Luke’s Kitchen also went local but with a twist. They produced a home made veggie burger patty. They spent 2 months with 3 different consulting chefs to create the burger we tried that evening. Some of the ingredients that went into this patty included quinoa, toasted almonds, black beans and more.  To complement the burger they topped it with southern fried beer battered dill pickles and jalapeno peppers and dressed it with home made Granny Smith Chipotle ketchup. Wow. The pickled peppers and ketchup added zing to this burger. The patty had nice texture to it, and you don’t miss that it is not beef.

If I were to pair a wine with this, I may go with a rose wine, maybe from Joie or Haywire.

Luke’s Kitchen is taking local to another level as they will soon be growing their greens onsite, and talked about also raising their own fish at the restaurant too. Very cool and very local.

A side of deep fried pickles and jalapenos

A side of deep fried pickles and jalapenos

A cross section of Luke's veggie burger

A cross section of Luke’s veggie burger

Whet

Our last stop for the evening was Whet on Granville Island. They created a beef burger for this challenge and their twist was a Latin spice influence. They use local ingredients as well, such as the buns from Le Baguette on Granville Island. The beef was mixed with oregano, cumin and other spices.  AAA beef was used for the patty and it came 1/2″ thick on the bun. A Dominican style chimichuri slaw was served on the side.  The beef was very juicy and lots of flavour.  I in particular liked the cumin flavour, plus the actual taste from the grill marks on the patty.  I did not taste the grill from the other 2 burgers. The other thing I really liked was the cheddar cheese that was layered on the burger really stood out.  I like the sharpness of the cheddar.

I’m partial to Latin flavours, and this was my favourite burger of the evening.

They served an R&B Bitter with the burger.  It had nice orange, cherries and spice flavour. It was light body with medium bitterness.  A nice beer to enjoy with this burger.

If I were to have a glass of wine with this, I think I would go with a Ravenswood Zinfandel.

Whet's beef burger

Whet’s beef burger

Give these burgers a try, or try some of the other restaurants, then vote for your favourite burger. Enjoy!

A Few Quick Thanksgiving Wine Picks

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner courtesy of BenFranske

It’s very easy to get busy with work and family this time of the year.  And Thanksgiving comes knocking on the door extra early in October for us Canadians this year.  Some of you may be off to the Okanagan to enjoy their Fall Wine Festival.  Pick up a few bottles from the great wineries there to help you celebrate October 8.  Let’s look at a few red and white wines that you may want to have with your roast turkey or ham this year.

Wine Pairings for Roast Turkey

Roast turkey can be quite rich in flavour, plus gravy adding extra flavour.  You need a wine that can stand up on it’s own and complement the roasted flavours. A lightly oaked Chardonnay is one choice, an aromatic Viognier, or if you prefer red, a juicy Merlot or a Pinot Noir. A few that I’ve tasted over the past year:

  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Chardonnay 2011 ($17.99). This plus 2 reds from Fort Berens made me sit up and take notice.  Such quality from a new winery in a new BC wine region: Lillooet! Pale pear skin colour. Light vanilla and apple aromas.  Light body with peach flavour and a hint of oak and cinnamon. A very elegant, integrated wine.
  • Kalala Organic Estate Winery Dostana Chardonnay 2010 ($18.90). Medium lemon in colour with a nice apricot nose.  Medium body with honey, oak and apricot flavour. Very tasty.  Medium acidity with a hint of sweet spices.
  • Stag’s Hollow Viognier 2010 ($21.99). Light orangy nose.  Medium body, round mouthfeel with medium acidity. Citrus, peaches, vanilla and nutmeg on the palate.
  • Trivento Tribu Viognier 2011, Argentina ($9.99. SPEC listing). This was a very surprising wine for sub $10.  Light orange, peach and citrus nose.  Medium minus body with flowers, orange, and spice on the tongue.  Dry citrus finish.  A nice wine.
  • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Merlot 2009 ($30). Light transparent garnet in the glass. Bright ripe cherry nose.  Light body, dry with ripe cherries and vanilla flavours.  Sweet cherry finish.
  • Bench 1775 Winery Merlot 2011 ($19.90). This was my surprise red wine of the tasting as I had not had their wines before.  I now want to try all their wines.  The Merlot was opaque ruby in colour.  Interesting nose of apples and plums. On the palate you get soft tannins, and flavours of yellow plum and red cherries. The yellow plum really stands out. Quite a different Merlot.  Give it a try.

Wine Pairings for Roast Ham

Roast ham is also quite full flavoured.  It has some sweetness to it, and can have other flavours such as some smokiness, depending on how it’s prepared. Riesling is a nice pairing with ham; think Alsatian food.  I think a  Cabernet Franc or Pinot Noir would also be nice with ham.

  • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Calliope Riesling 2011, BC ($14.99). Nice nose of citrus, apple and stone fruit.  Dry with high acidity, but still has some roundness on the palate.  Peach flavour with a slight herbal edge.
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Cabernet Franc 2010, BC ($24.99). Deep garnet in colour with light cedar and ripe cherry aromas. Dry, medium plus body with cedar, oak and ripe black fruit flavours. Ripe fruit and vanilla on the finish. This wine won a Double Gold Medal at the All Canadian Wine Championships.
  • Pewsey Vale Riesling, 2011, Australia ($23.99 SPEC).  Nice lime, lychee and flowers on the nose. Medium minus body, light acidity with lots of citrus and stone fruit flavours. Very tasty.
  • King Estate Winery Estate Signature Pinot Noir 2010, OR ($36.99).  King Estate is the largest, or one of the largest wineries in Oregon, but that doesn’t mean poor quality.  They produce very good Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.  They use organic and sustainable farming methods. Their Pinot Noir had light aromas of vanilla, red cherries and eucalyptus.  Medium minus body with a light mouth feel.  Raspberries, some tea leaves flavours, with spice showing up mid palate.  A quality wine!
  • Haywire Pinot Noir 2010, BC. Light garnet in the glass. Orange pekoe tea, nutmeg, violets, and raspberry aromas with a bit of match stick later on.  Quite a complex nose. Round, dry with red cherries, red berries, violets, some sweet spices and a streak of minerality. Medium length. Subtle tannins, which pick up on the finish. Excellent.
  • Carmen Pinot Noir Reserva, 2010, Chile ($18) – Violet aromas.   Cinnamon, violet, vanilla and cherry flavours.  Light body, low tannins. Very tasty.

I wish you many happy Thanksgiving with your family now and in the future. Cheers!

Roses and Rose Wine for Mother’s Day

Rose Hybrid Tea ‘Mrs. Herbert Stevens’

Mothers have a hard job.  And having 1 day a year to celebrate her daily toil hardly covers how much she should be appreciated.  So I’d like to suggest both roses and rose wine for this special day, and any other day you want to show your appreciation.

The Meanings of Roses

For most of us, guys especially, do not know what the colours of roses mean.  Peruse the colours and pick what is most appropriate.  I would think that some colours of roses, e.g. red, may be more appropriate for your spouse, while other colours more appropriate for your mother.  As I am not an expert on rose colours, I present this list from http://www.rkdn.org/roses/colors.asp

Red (Dark)  Unconscious beauty
Red (Single) I Love You
Deep Burgundy  Unconscious Beauty
White Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness
Pink  Appreciation, “Thank you”, Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, Gentleness, “Please Believe Me”
Dark Pink Appreciation, Gratitude, “Thank You”
Light Pink  Admiration, Sympathy, Gentleness, Grace, Gladness, Joy, Sweetness
Yellow Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me,  Jealousy
Yellow with Red Tip Friendship, Falling in Love
Orange Desire, Enthusiasm
Red and White  Given together, these signify unity
Red and Yellow Jovial and Happy Feelings
Peach  Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let’s get together, Sincerity, Gratitude
Pale Peach Modesty
Coral  Desire
Lavender Love at first sight, Enchantment
Orange  Enthusiasm, Desire, Fascination

How many roses should you give?  That’s a bit subjective, but 1 rose shows your devotion and 6 roses signify a need to be loved or cherished.  If you give 2 roses, that means you want to marry that person.  Maybe you would like to buy 1 rose for each year you have been together?

Some Rose Wine Picks

I have covered many rose wines over the past years.  Rose wines are wonderful I think for spring time and to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Here are a few that I think are quite tasty:

  • Chateau Lallier Champagnes

    Champagne Lallier Rose, NV, France. If your mother, wife or significant other enjoys bubbles, here is one to please. Very pale pinkish orange colour. Light strawberry nose. Bigger bubble, with strawberry and red cherry flavour. You can never go wrong with Champagne.

  • Domaine Chandon Brut Rose, NV, France.  A sparkling rose that will treat your tastebuds.  Light orangey cherry in colour.  Lees and strawberries on the nose.  Lots of light small bubbles in the glass.  Quite creamy mouthfeel with strawberry and cherry flavours.
  • Haywire Gamay Noir Rose 2010, BC ($23). Light salmon colour. Strawberry and cherry aromas. High acidity with strawberries, raspberries and cherry flavours.  Very refreshing. We don’t come across a Gamay Noir rose, so this was nice.  Gamay, like Pinot Noir is naturally a low tannin wine, with red fruit / summer fruit flavours.  This is a very nice wine for the summer.  Try with some crab or lobster.
  • Blasted Church Rose 2010, BC ($17.99). This rose is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Usually I expect a single varietal, like Pinot Noir or Merlot, so I was very interested to taste this rose. Very pale cherry colour. Nice strawberry aromas.  Raspberry leaf, strawberry, and capsicum flavours.  High acidity and spicy on your palate. Light body and long length.  This wine packs a punch with 14.9% alcohol, so beware as you sip this one.
  • Olivares Jumilla Rose 2010, Spain. Bright cherry colour. Light cherry nose.  Light body with ripe red cherries and strawberry flavours. Medium acid and low tannins. Very refreshing. Highly recommended.
  • Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Pinot Noir Rosé 2010, BC. Light pinkish salmon colour. Raspberries and strawberry fruit on the nose with a bit of raspberry leaf as well.  Off dry with light body and medium acidity.  Quite nice strawberry flavour with some almonds on the finish.  The grapes for this wine come from one of the organic Kalala vineyards in West Kelowna.

I wish all mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day!

A Few BC Day Wine Picks

BC flag

Our long weekend has started here in BC. And it is also sunny. I’m sure you will want to go outside for a picnic, maybe a BBQ in your backyard patio with family and friends. But maybe you need a few BC wines to get the party going. How about some of these?

Some BC Wines

Haywire Gamay Noir Rose

Haywire Gamay Noir Rose 2010 ($23). Light salmon colour. Strawberry and cherry aromas. High acidity with strawberries, raspberries and cherry flavours.  Very refreshing. We don’t come across a Gamay Noir rose, so this was nice.  Gamay, like Pinot Noir is naturally a low tannin wine, with red fruit / summer fruit flavours.  This is a very nice wine for the summer.  Try with some crab or lobster.

Township 7 Viognier 2008. This wine was medium lemon in colour. Honey, lime and tropical fruit on the nose. Medium acidity with citrus, mango and papaya flavours. If you have not tried a Viognier before, this one will get you hooked.

Church & State Wines Chardonnay 2007. This Chardonnay is medium lemon colour. Nice apricot nose. Vanilla, sweet spice, pineapple and apricot flavours, with a bit of spice. Lots of flavours coming out the glass the more you swirled it around in your mouth.

Blasted Church Mixed Blessings 2010 ($17.99). This is the third vintage of this wine, and each vintage is made of a unique blend of white grapes. This vintage was made with Riesling and Gewurztraminer.  Nice aromatic nose. Green and stone fruits.  Off dry with a slight green, herbal flavour.  Light body with medium acidity and light spice to finish. Nice.

Poplar Grove Legacy

Poplar Grove Winery Legacy 2006. Legacy is a Bordeaux blend consisting of 70% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 24% Cabernet Franc. Opaque garnet in colour.  Leather and cherry aromas. Full body with ripe black cherries and vanilla.  Medium tannins with a long length.

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2007. Opaque purple in the glass. Ripe cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the nose. Full bodied with firm yet smooth tannins.  Ripe black cherry flavour.

Howling Bluff Estate Winery Summa Quies Estate Pinot Noir 2009. Pale garnet in colour. Beautiful violets and strawberry aromas. Soft, light bodied, with vanilla, strawberries and ripe cherries on the palate.  Highly recommended.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Aboriginal Potlach Food & Wine Pairing at the CCFCC Chef’s Conference

I mentioned in a previous blog post about the CCFCC coming to Vancouver and all the wonderful events there are, and that it is not just restricted to chefs to attend. You can buy tickets to these events and watch and/or sample the chefs’ creations. One of the events I will be attending is the Aboriginal Potlach on Monday evening, June 13. I thought I’d entice you to buy a ticket by posting the food and wine pairings for this event.

Food and Wine Pairing for the Aboriginal Potlach

  • R and B Brewing Beer Station
  • Traditionally smoked salmon parsnip dumpling, pumpkin sauce PAIRED WITH
    Eau Vivre Gewurztraminer and Tangled Vines 3 Blancs
  • Spot prawn, poached in bentwood box sweet onion, garlic cream PAIRED WITH
    Haywire Pinot Gris and Misconduct Misfit
  • Spiced seafood cakes, corn puree dandelion salad PAIRED WITH
    Rustic Roots Apple Pear and Bartier Scholfield Rose
  • Smoked trout apple salad young cress, wild mushroom vinaigrette PAIRED WITH
    Cassini Pinot Noir and Rollingdale Pinot Noir
  • Rabbit sausage king oyster ragout, blueberry pine nut chutney PAIRED WITH
    Black Cloud Pinot Noir and Hester Creek Character Red
  • Braised bison brisket roasted squash salad, roasted onions, natural sauce PAIRED WITH
    St. Hubertus Oak Bay Foch and Fairview 2 Hoots
  • Roast venison loin sweet potato sauce, savory bannock bread pudding PAIRED WITH
  • The View Pinotage and Noble Ridge Meritage
  • Cinnamon bannock fritters Brown sugar cranberry sauce PAIRED WITH
    Raven Ridge Iced Cider and Tugwell Mead
  • Bannock bread pudding, sundried berry egg sauce PAIRED WITH
    Vista D’Oro and The View Optima

This is a pretty impressive lineup of food from our First Nations people here plus it is being paired with BC wines and there is also mead, which I have never tried. This type of meal is a one of a kind deal in my opinion.  There is also a brand new BC wine in the lineup: Bartier Scholfield Rose. I blogged about this new winery in a previous post, so I’ll add the link back so you can read about Bartier Scholfield.

If you would like to attend this event, please click on this link to buy tickets for the Aboriginal Potlach.  Enjoy!