My Tasting Plates Vancouver Kitsilano Edition Favorites

Tasting Plates Kitsilano

This past week was the third Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates event this year. This event was the “Kitsilano Edition“. If you have never attended one, for Tasting Plates you visit 10 different restaurants/food trucks/other food establishments, sampling some of their tasty treats.

This evening we had 10 vendors to visit:

Some of My Favourite Bites

Chocolate Arts pumpkin praline chocolate

Chocolate Arts Cafe – This one is all about chocolates and sweets. I was very impressed with the quality from C.A.C. They had a:

  • House made cookie enrobed in 70% chocolate with corn flavoured house made ice cream
  • Candied almonds
  • A Peanut mallow bite
  • A seasonal chocolate

Have you ever tried corn ice cream, or how about cheese flavoured ice cream?  If you have been to South America or to South East Asia, you probably tried one of these, but here it is much harder to come across.  I enjoyed the corn flavoured ice cream.  The corn flavour was not overpowering, but you still knew it was corn.  It was nice with the chocolate covered cookie.  The seasonal chocolate was organic pumpkin and praline.  The pumpkin flavour was again subtle and went very well with the 70% dark chocolate coating.  I would recommend going to the C.A.C. and indulging your sweet tooth. Bring out some BC ice wine or late harvest to complete the decadence.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. – They offered 1 slice of your choice from the following pizzas:

  • Bradner Farm Pizza:  Certified organic free range rosemary chicken from Bradner Farm with red onions, house made pesto & oven roasted red bell peppers.
  • Farmers Market Pizza: Topped with a combination of four to five seasonal local or preserved veggies, three herb nut free pesti & Capriny goat’s cheese.
  • Naturally Meaty: Spicy certified organic beef, sulphate free Italian sausage, ripe tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, asiago cheese & fresh herbs.

I tried the Naturally Meaty pizza.  The organic beef was spicy, just like I like it, but a little light on the beef and sausage.  No soggy crust.  The restaurant was open for regular patrons and it was packaged.  It is a very family friendly restaurant, with many tables full of young children.

The Bibo pizza and pasta

The Bibo – The Bibo offered both a pizza selection and a pasta selection.  The items were:

  • Pizzas selection: Margherita, Diavola, Prosciutto, Funghi, and Marinara.
  • Pasta selection: Rigatoni alla Norma, Lasagne al Pesto and Tagliatelle al Ragù.

I went for a slice of the Diavola pizza and the Lasagne al Pesto.  The lasagne was vegetarian and was so tasty with the wonderful basil flavour from the pesto.  I think I liked it more than the pizza and I would definitely try it again.  The Diavola pizza is made with spicy salami.  It was spicy but if you are not spice lover, I think you would still find it at an acceptable heat level.  Not too greasy, and a nice crispy crust. Go traditional and enjoy this with a glass of Tuscan Sangiovese (Chianti) or maybe try a BC Gamay Noir?

Atithi Indian Cuisine – The owners of Atithi really were very nice to us and tried to accommodate people’s tastes.  A friend I was with was given a dal in lieu of one of the dishes she did not sample.  The items to taste were:

  • Lotus roots with shrimp
  • Bengali mustard fish
  • Taro roots with local potato (vegan and veggie)

If you like spice, then this place is for you, but one of the dishes, the Bengali mustard fish, was not spicy; just full of flavour.  I really enjoyed it.  It was made from cod fish.  The taro roots with local potato was a dry dish, no sauce, and again was tasty for me.  The lotus root dish had sauce and would have challenged a few people on the spice level. An off-dry riesling would help quell the fire.

Petes Meats 3 sausages and sauerkraut

Pete’s Meat – Offered to us three distinct sausages with a small side of sauerkraut.  May have been my favourite dish of the night.  The sausages:

  • Lamb Merguez: medium spice with a complex flavor profile north African in origin
  • Sweet Italian: low spice, sweet and savoury our version of this classic
  • Chicken, chipotle, cilantro & lime: (Mexi/Cali, medium spice)

The sausages were all distinctive in taste.  I think my favourite was the Lamb Merguez, but they were all very good.  The sausages were not dry, but had the right mix of meat and fat for me. Maybe try this with a South African Pinotage?

That’s all for now from me.  Did you attend Tasting Plates?  If so, what were your favourites?  Leave a comment.

Thanks again to Richard aka @vanfoodster for hosting this event.

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Want to try Charcuterie and Wines at Bistro Pastis?

Do you like Charcuterie? In case you are not familiar with this word, Wikipedia defines it as “…the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork“. Charcuterie is found in France, particularly in the Alsace region.  Some of my most memorable dinners in France have been in Alsace, sipping a nice white Alsatian wine with mixed charcuterie and vegetables (cabbage quite common).

You can live the Alsatian meal dream, like me, through Bistro Pastis here in Vancouver.  Here is a new meal menu from them that makes me hungry!  To the menu below, you may want to consider pairing these wines from Bistro Pastis’ wine list:

  • Chamdeville Brut Blanc de Blancs (sparkling)
  • Gentil Hugel 2007 (white)
  • Gewurztraminer Steiner Grand Cru Pfaffenheim 2004 (white)
  • Vouvray, Chenin Blanc, Chateau Gaudrelle 2007 (white)
  • Pinot Noir Latour 2007 (red)
  • Pinot Noir Blue Mountain Reserve 2006 (red)
  • Château Pesquié Quintessence 2006 (red)

Bonne appetit!

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Fall Flavour Fete

Bistro Pastis

From November 1 through 13th, please join us for the last menu in our Fall Flavour Fete series – this one features Charcuterie. The word ‘charcuterie’ originates from the French term ‘cuiseur de chair’ or ‘cooker of meat.’ In France, it has been considered a high culinary art for more than 600 years and involves meat products that have been preserved in some way – by curing, brining, drying, smoking, in a terrine etc. For the next two weeks, come by and savour these rich fall flavours in Chef Tobias Grignon’s interpretations of duck prosciutto, boudin blanc, rillettes, blood sausage, terrine and even bacon ice cream.

Reservations are always a good idea 604-731-5020 or on-line at www.bistropastis.com.

Charcuterie Menu

Smoked Duck Salad, House Made Duck Prosciutto, Poached Pear, Hazelnut Vinaigrette

– or –

Wild Boar Tourtière, Parsnip Purée, Pickled Chanterelles, Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

– or –

Rillette Trio, Duck, Pork and Rabbit

*****

Choucroute Garnie, Smoked Pork Loin, Bacon, Hock and Sausage, Sauerkraut

– or –

Chicken Leg Stuffed with Blood Sausage, Pomme Purée, Celeriac and Apple Remoulade, Sage Jus

– or –

Scallop and Prawn Boudin Blanc, Smoked Bacon Chowder, Fine Herbs Salad

*****

Brioche French Toast, Caramalized Apple and Thyme Strusel Maple Bacon Ice Cream

– or –

Dark Chocolate Terrine, Quince Compote, Candied Bacon

$45.00

Bistro Pastis
2153 W 4th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6K 1N7 | Tel: (604) 731.5020 | Fax: (604) 731.5039
www.bistropastis.com

A Tailgate Party, Grilled Pork, & Wine for the Canucks Game!

This weekend I experienced pork nirvana. Pork sausages, ground pork, and bacon cooked several ways on the BBQ by an expert BBQ chef. This experience happened as I attended a class at Well Seasoned in Langley on how to BBQ for a Tailgate Party. Our instructor is Head Cook Andy Groneman, a 14-time Grand Champion and winner of over 150 BBQ awards including:

  • 2010 Jack Daniels World Invitational – World Pork Champion
  • 2009 National Champion—Chest to Chest Brisket Invitational
  • 2009 New York “Empire State” Grand Champion
  • 2009 KCBS – Team of the Year -5th place
  • 2008—Reserve Grand Champion—American Royal
  • 12x Grand Champion and winner of hundreds of BBQ awards

What is a tailgate party?

From Wikipedia, “In the United States, a tailgate party is a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Tailgating often involves consuming alcoholic beverages and grilling food. This is done in order for people to loosen up and have fun before entering the event and also to avoid paying stadium prices for alcohol and food… Tailgate parties usually occur in the parking lots at stadiums and arenas, before and occasionally after games and concerts. People attending such a party are said to be tailgating. Many people participate even if their vehicles do not have tailgates. Also, many people don’t even go into the game and just go to the tailgate to party…Popular tailgate party foods include picnic staples such as hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, and cold salads like coleslaw or potato salad” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tailgate_party)

Andy’s creative culinary skills brought tailgate cuisine to a higher level.

What did Andy teach us to BBQ?

  • Smoked nuts (no pork in this one)
  • Beer Bathed Brats
  • Pig Candy
  • Smoked Sausage Fatties
  • Atomic Buffalo Turds (It doesn’t sound nice but does taste good)

A nice way to start off any party is with some assorted nuts.  The smoked nuts in this case were almonds and pecans covered with a honey/apple/soy sauce and sprinkled with a BBQ rub of your choice.  Cooking this in the BBQ adds a nice smoky flavour to the nuts and the mix of sweet and a bit of spice enhances the nuttiness. I’d suggest a fino sherry or maybe a sparkling wine, such as a Spanish Cava.

Pig Candy is bacon that is coated in a mixture of brown sugar and cayenne/chipotle powder, then slowly cooked on the grill so that the sugar caramelizes, making a very addictive treat. Again sweetness with a hit of spice mixed with the smokiness of the bacon, plus the crunchiness from being on the grill. There are a few ways to pair wine with this. The first is to go with a Sauvignon Blanc which has high acidity, to cut through the fattiness of the pork.  Another pairing could be to embrace the smokiness and pick a Fume Blanc (that is an oak barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc). If you prefer red wine, maybe a chilled Gamay or a Pinot Noir would be nice. Both have higher acidity and lower tannins, which should complement the sugar and fattiness of the pig candy.

Smoked Sausage Fatties are thick ground pork sausage rolls (maybe 10cm across) that are seasoned inside and outside with BBQ rub, then slowly grilled and at the end coated with a BBQ sauce. The rolls are cut into thick slices, and can be served with a salad.  This could be a main course dish of your tailgate party.  For this dish, I suggest going with an Alsatian-style Riesling or a Pinot Noir from BC or New Zealand.

Sausages on the grill are always nice.  We enjoyed beer bathed brats.  In this instance Heineken beer was used along with various herbs and spices to make a hot bath into which the sausages were placed in the BBQ.  The sausages are taken out later and grilled before serving with fried onions on a bun, or by itself with some mustard. We had traditional bratwursts and as well one made with wild boar, which had a darker colour and more meatier taste.  This was very nice with the herb flavour infused into the sausages.  Pinot Noir, Gamay, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc all would work here.

Finishing off our evening cooking class was the atomic buffalo turds. This is made from jalapeno chiles cut lengthwise to make a “boat”.  Seeds were removed to make it less spicy.  A filling of cream and shredded cheese, crumbled cooked sausage filled each boat, then each was wrapped in a slice of bacon and then grilled.  It was quite spicy, smoky and creamy.  I think a Riesling here would be needed to cool the heat, or maybe a very fruity pinot gris.  If you are adventurous, try a pinotage!

Well Seasoned has a wide range of BBQ supplies; spices, rubs, and marinades which I have had hard time finding elsewhere.  Langley is a bit out of the way if you live in Vancouver, but it is not that far to go once you get onto the highway, plus you can then go and visit some of our Fraser Valley wineries!

Here is the link to Smoke On Wheels if you would like to read more about Andy and what he has to offer.  Also, a link to Well Seasoned cooking classes.  Enjoy with your Canucks or BC Lions tailgate party!