Thursday, 4 October 2012

It's been awhile since we have posted anything, Trevor has been out in Alberta and up in the Arctic cooking and I have been plagued with computer problems. But we are both back to normal after a hectic summer and look forward to doing more posts.

Baci Ristorante

Baci Ristorante
1530 Stone Church Rd. E.
Hamilton (905) 381-9811

Tonight Trevor and I had dinner at Baci, which is part of the Best Western on Stone Church Rd, owned by Carmen's.

The decor was very nice and welcoming, the only thing I could say about it that might be negative were there were several tv's. Other than that it is lovely.

The first real impression, that sets the mood for the evening, is the waiter. Our waiter Patrick was very friendly and helpful but not overbearing. We were very pleased with the service and thought he did an outstanding job at looking after our needs and making the evening pleasant for us.

Trevor was delighted to see Carpaccio on the menu that was actually a real carpaccio, thin slices of beef. He said it was excellent. We also ordered the Bruschetta, it was done on thin slices of bread which are made in-house and so unique for this appetizer. There were 6 fair size pieces, two of each kind. One pair was with tomato, the next pair had arugula with caramelized onions and the third pair was goat cheese with roasted peppers. We actually talked to the young man who prepared them and told him how much we enjoyed it.

Our next course was soup. We ordered the Stracciatella and the Pasta e fagioli. I have to say that this was the best Stracciatella soup that I can recall having. The Pasta e fagioli was fairly good but did not hold a candle to the other soup.

We asked the waiter to give us a surprise entree. The chef prepared for us tortellini with an arriabbata sauce and a breaded chicken breast with a cheese sauce on it. The tortellini was just the way I like it, al dente, not at all watery and the sauce for me had just the perfect amount of heat to it without being over powering.  The cheese sauce was very tasty. The only complaint might be the crust on the chicken was a bit overcooked but still delicious.

Unfortunately we did not have room for dessert although the dessert menu looked yummy. I was really hoping I would have room for the zabaglione or the creme brulee.

We were celebrating a special occasion there and Trevor mentioned it to the person he talked to on the phone. The additional nice touch was that as we were leaving the manager came over to us to extend his best wishes on our special occasion.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Split Pea & Bacon Soup

Soup Ingredients

1 cup yellow split peas
8 oz. bacon cut in 2” pieces
1 small onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 Tbsp. Miso
6 cups water
3 oz. Prosciutto chopped
4 oz. cabbage chopped
Salt and pepper

In large stock pot brown bacon and prosciutto, add all vegetables, water and miso. Mix well, bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and let simmer about an hour till split peas basically dissolve.  Taste soup and add salt and pepper as desired.

Dough Ingredients

1 cup flour
¾ cup milk
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Mix all dough ingredients together and form into balls. Add balls to soup and simmer 10-15 minutes longer till dough balls are cooked. 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Green Beans Salad with Lovage Dressing

This is a super dressing, to find out what lovage is click on special ingredients on the side bar and you will see a picture of it and a description of what it is. Basically it's an herb that tastes great in soups, stews, dressings or salads.


Dressing Ingredients
2 oz. chopped Lovage
2 drops Rosewater
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Clove Garlic
1 oz. olive oil
2 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar
½ spy apple
Salt and Pepper

Mix all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth and creamy. Your dressing is ready to serve. In this picture we served it over blanched green beans, orange pepper, sliced apples and walnuts.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Fish and Brewis

The easiest way I can explain this recipe is to give you the recipe that is directly from Purity, the makers of the bread. This is a very common dish in Newfoundland

To prepare the Brewis
Split the cakes of the Hard Bread, allowing one cake per person. In a large Saucepan place the Hard Bread, well covered with water. Soak overnight.  The next day using the same water, salt to taste and bring Bread to a near boil. DO NOT BOIL, DRAIN IMMEDIATELY. Keep Hot.

To Prepare Salt Fish
Use Skin dried salt fish. Cut the fish into serving pieces, cover with cold water and soak overnight.  The next day change the water and bring to boil for 20 mins or until the fish flakes with a fork.  To add scrunchions , find  diced salt pork and fry until golden brown. Add the fat from the pork and the bits of cooked pork to the dish.
Combine the cooked fish with the prepared brewis  and pork fat and pork to serving bowl and serve.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Foods From Newfoundland and Labrador

Hard Bread

While Trevor was in Labrador he did a bit of shopping. One of the ingredients he brought home was called Hard Bread Biscuits. They look like small extremely hard dinner rolls. They need to be soaked in water before eating and you will find a recipe using them called Fish and Brewis on our blog. The story of how this bread came into being is quite interesting and here it is.
Hard Bread also known as Hard Tack, has been a dietary staple of Newfoundlanders for many years. Hard Bread was developed from the ancient sea biscuit which formed the basis of meals on fishing vessels and cargo ships prior to the 1840s when baking aboard was impossible.  Due to its long life, hard bread was an ideal substitute for fresh bread. As the tale goes, a cook on a schooner was preparing a meal of hard bread and fish for the crew and was asked to break up the bread or bruise the bread prior to it being soaked. Thus the term “Brewis”.

Salted Fish

The salted fish Trevor purchased was in a bag, prior to use it should be soaked overnight as it is extremely salty. We used this fish in the popular Newfoundland dish called Fish and Brewis but it is also used there for fish balls, salt codfish pie, fish cakes and fat back and molasses.

Salted Beef

Salted beef  is one of the main ingredients in jiggs dinner in Newfoundland. The beef should be soaked overnight before using. Jiggs dinner is almost like a corned beef and cabbage dish. You will find a recipe for this meal in our recipe section.

Salted Pork

Salt pork also known as white bacon .  As a standalone food product, it is typically boiled to remove much of the salt content and partially cook the product, then fried until it starts to develop a crisp exterior. It can be used as a stand alone meat product or in many dishes that call for regular salt pork.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


2 Veal Shanks (Vegans and Vegetarians omit)
1 cup cooked Mung Beans
1 cup cooked Lentils
1 cup cooked Adzuki Beans
2 Celery Stalks chopped
2 Carrots chopped
1 Onion Chopped
1 cup Quinoa, sweated in 1 oz. Coconut Oil
2 Bok Choy chopped
2 Garlic cloves diced
1 Tbsp. Ginger finely diced
1 Red Pepper Chopped
2 Tbsp. Thyme


Brown the shank on both sides in oil in stock pot then add water and bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and cook for about an hour till shank is fully cooked. Reserve stock and add about one oz. coconut oil and add Quinoa add your onion , garlic and ginger, thyme  and sweat. Return stock to the pot and add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil again then turn down and simmer till vegetables are fully cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.