Washington Place Bistro Spring Roulades

WashingtonBistroChicken & Roasted Tomato Roulade with Zucchini & Carrot Puree

Created, prepared and displayed by Chef Bradley Johnson of the Washington Place Bistro and Inn in Little Italy.

  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 4 ea Garlic Cloves… smashed
  • 3 ea Chicken Breasts… cut into 1” strips
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1 T Salt
  • 2 T Beer
  • 3-4 cups Water
  • 8 oz Penne Pasta… cooked, cooled and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Fresh Herbs… chopped, parsley, chives, basil, etc
  • 3 T Parmesan Cheese… grated
  • 7-8 Carrots… peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 T Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground Cumin
  • 4 ea Zucchini… thinly sliced lengthwise on mandolin, ¼” thick

Pre-heat oven to 375* Combine tomatoes, 2 T oil and garlic cloves and spread on sheet pan. Roast for 1 hour, stirring half way through. Place cooked tomatoes in a mixing bowl and cool.

In a hot saute pan, add 2 T oil and brown the chicken strips. Season with salt. Deglaze pan with 2 T beer, the rest is for the cook! Add water to cover and simmer until chicken is easily shredded and the liquid is almost dry. Once cooled slightly shred the chicken apart and combine with the tomatoes. Add the chopped penne pasta as a binder and mix well. Add in the fresh herbs and cheese, adjust seasoning to your liking.

In a small saucepan, combine the carrots, water, salt, ginger and cumin and simmer until carrots are soft, 20 minutes. Add just the carrots to a blender, then add enough of the liquid to cover them. Blend on high until you have a smooth puree. Use caution when blending hot items!

Shingle 5-6 slices of zucchini evenly on a cutting board and place ¾ cup or so of the chicken and tomato filling in the center. Carefully roll the zucchini around the filling and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet with the seam side facing down. Repeat with remaining zucchini and filling. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil and salt on the top of roulade and bake for 15 minutes at 375* Serve with carrot puree. Visit www.thedriftwoodgroup.com for more information about Chef Bradley Johnson and the Washington Place Bistro & Inn.

Taste Moment

TravelingWineSandy, you are invited to Debbie Indoe’s Wine Tasting/Buying event with the Traveling Vineyard! This was my introduction into the traveling wine world. Carrie Ruggiero, our Wine Guide led us on a complimentary 5 bottle tour of the world of wine and taught us the 4 steps to wine tasting and how to properly pair food and wine, plus much more!  The much more is what I’m going to write about.  Debbie Indoe was the perfect hostess, as she introduced the more than a dozen who attended, into food flavors that complimented each wine.  Every wine was paired with something extraordinary; pumpkin chocolate treats, beef jerky with exotic flavors, aged artisanal cheeses, jewel-like chocolates shipped from Miami and to me the most interesting Piedmontese beef.  Never having heard of Piedmontese Beef I had to research this sublime tasting beef.  I learned a small group of select Piedmontese Bulls were imported into Canada in the late 1970s, and into the United States in the early 1980s.  Piedmontese Bulls and cows originated in the North West area of Italy called Piedmont in the 1800’s. The beef is exceptionally lean and incredibly tender and paired well with the Malbec wine.  I love learning new Food Facts.  Each chocolate had an intriguing name; Pistache, Scarlett Caramel and Galaxy Way. We tasted a selection of whites, reds, and sweet all exclusive to the Traveling Vineyard.  All of the wines tasted (and then some) were available for ordering. Tasting the wines gave us the opportunity to “Try Before We Buy.”  It was heart-warming catching up with old friends and making new ones.  For a foggy dreary winter night it was a great way to have a first-class vineyard experience indoors!

 

Taste Moment

Taste(4)‘The Best Of The Medina Chamber’ event held yesterday at Weymouth Country Club is referred to as the tastiest member meeting all year. Paul & Tara the new owners of Dan’s Dog’s debuted their new Chili Hot Dog Sauce at this member event. The Chili Hot Dog Sauce is made in house using fresh local beef from Beaver Meats in Smithville. Paul was quick to say there are no preservatives and no nitrates in the beef or any of the ingredients. The sauce is slow simmered for 6 hours in their famous in-house root-beer. The sauce is slightly sweet and when smothered over a Dan’s Dog’s was an Oh My moment. Paul is soon adding his version of a Fire House Dog Sauce to the menu. If it is anything like his Chili Hot Dog Sauce we are in for a taste treat!  Dan’s Dogs is located just off Medina Public Square.

Taste Moment!

It's Pig Roast Roast Time

It’s Pig Roast Time

It’s Pig Roast Time at The Best of The Chamber – the tastiest member meeting of the year.  Gridirne Cookery showcased their pulled pork with several BBQ sauces all prepared with local fresh ingredients.  The spicy sauce called to me as I asked for burnt pork ends.  A southern thing!  The spicy sauce didn’t obscure the flavor of the pork, just tweaked the overall flavor. Gridirne Cookery was established in 1991 in Medina, by Edward Pfaffel, to meet the demand for high quality, yet affordable barbecues done on location.

Gridirne Cookery does it all; Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Fundraisers, Reunions, beef, pork, chicken, lamb and they do it all year long.  And you can rent their roasters to do it yourself.  It is the ultimate barbecue experience lavishly prepared by Gridirne Cookery .  Call 1 800-880-(PORK) 7675 to schedule an open air feast.

 

 

 

The US is a Great Melting Pot!

The United States is a great melting pot and few things are more synonymous with a particular culture than its cuisine.  Dining at an ethnic restaurant or experimenting with regional flavors in the comforts of your own kitchen are a great ways to experience foreign cultures.  I ENJOY trying to new flavors and understanding how particular cultures came to create dishes native to their country.

Some of the trendiest cuisines in the United States are still unknown to many Americans, who continue to do most of their culinary adventuring within the “big three” ethnic cuisines of Italian, Chinese and Mexican, according to a study released by the National Restaurant Association. Consumer interest in new cuisines is growing. Below are excerpts from a report published in the National Restaurant Association review!

CuisinesIn its “Global Palates: Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors in America” report, the trade association’s first ethnic cuisine study in 16 years, the NRA asked more than 1,000 adults about their familiarity with cuisines that originated outside the United States, as well as regional cuisines within the U.S.  The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives. Italian is the most frequently eaten ethnic cuisine: 61 percent of those surveyed said they eat it at least once a month.

The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives.

Apart from those three cuisines, the next in line in terms of popularity are regional American, Mediterranean, Japanese, Spanish, Belgian, German, French, Greek and Caribbean, each of which more than half of those surveyed said they tried at least once.

Most experimentation with ethnic foods is done at dinner. More than three quarters of respondents, 77 percent, said they eat ethnic food most often during the evening meal, while 18 percent pointed to lunch as their main time for ethnic eating.

Younger consumers also eat ethnic at breakfast. Although 66 percent of people ages 18 to 24 and 72 percent of those ages 25 to 34 who were surveyed said they mostly ate ethnic food at dinner, 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, said breakfast was their top time for ethnic food. That’s compared with 0 percent among people ages 35 to 64, and 1 percent of people ages 65 or older.

Younger consumers are also more likely to eat ethnic cuisines related to their own heritage. Fifty-seven percent of 18-to-24 year olds who responded said the ethnic foods they like to eat are tied to their family’s ancestry or heritage, compared with 43 percent of people overall.

Offering ethnic food as a special item can be an effective selling point, the study found. When asked if they would consider trying ethnic food as a special at their favorite restaurant, even if it were different from the type of food normally offered there, 80 percent of respondents said they would. However, 84 percent of respondents said they prefer to eat ethnic cuisine at restaurants that focus on that cuisine.

For the past 6 weeks my husband, myself and good friends have experienced different ethnic food and cultures; Syrian, Greek, Columbian, Jewish, and Asian.  For two years I had tried to enroll the Tri-C Neighborhood Scholar ‘Ethnic Cuisine – Food & Cultures.’ This year I succeeded.  The program is so popular that the ‘the old-timers’ have been enrolling for years and years in the program making it difficult for newbies to enroll. All the restaurant owners and Chefs we have met through the program have expressed their gratitude to the good olde United States for the opportunity to succeed.  So in addition to tasting some extraordinary cuisines it was refreshing to meet people who believe the United States is a land of great opportunity.

*Excerpts from Brett Thorn’s article reported in the National Restaurant Association

 

 

 

 

Challenge the Chef Recipe

Rustic Italian Comfort Food by Chef Martinez of Cibreo Italian Kitchen


Cibreo!Ingredients:
Roasted andouille, white bean salad, butternut purée, spiked cranberry maple syrup 1 lb saucisson andouille 2 cups butternut 2 cups water 1 can white chili beans 1/2 cup shaved celery 1/4 cup celery

leaves 2 tsp cinnamon 2 tsp ancho chile powder 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/2 cup dried cranberry.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees:  Roast andouille in oven for ten minutes or until heated through….or to desired char level.

For the purée: In a small saucepan, bring butternut squash and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and simmer for 16-18 minutes or until squash is soft. Strain, reserving cooking liquid. Add squash, cinnamon, 1/2 cup cooking liquid, 1 /2 tsp. salt to vitamix or blender. Purée until smooth adding more liquid if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

For the white bean salad: Open 1 can of white chili beans and drain with a colander reserving liquid. Allow beans to dry slightly. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When pan is hot (but not smoking), add 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil and white chili beans. Toss well and season with salt and pepper. Continue to heat beans through over medium heat. Add shaved celery and toss well. Finish with 3 TBSP bean liquid.

For spiked cranberry maple syrup: In a small saucepan, simmer maple, cranberry, and ancho over low heat for ten minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper. Roast andouille in oven for ten minutes or until heated through….or to desired char level.

To plate: Spoon the butternut squash purée onto the plate. Arrange white bean and celery salad next to purée. Garnish salad with celery leaves. Slice andouille and lay next to salad. Drizzle spiked cranberry maple syrup around and over sausage.  Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Day Quiz

TurkeypicIt is once again time to talk turkey, stuffing and all of the trimmings. Thanksgiving is celebrated in both Canada and the United States with similar parades and fanfare. Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the blessings in one’s life and enjoy the company of family and friends during a special meal. Although people celebrate Thanksgiving each and every year, they may not be aware of some of its interesting history. Test your knowledge of gobblers and general trivia with this quiz.

 

1. Despite competing historical claims, the story most people associate with the first American Thanksgiving took place in a colony in this modern-day state?

  1. Pennsylvania  2.New Jersey  3. Massachusetts  4. Delaware

2. Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on which day of the week in Canada?

a. Monday b. Tuesday c. Wednesday  d. Thursday

3. Pilgrims from Europe associated with Thanksgiving are purported to have sailed across the Atlantic to reach North American on which ship?

a. Daisy  b. Mayflower  c. Santa Maria  d. Roseflower

4. Which tribe of Native Americans taught Pilgrims how to cultivate the land, contributing to the first Thanksgiving?

a. Algonquin  b. Lenape   c. Shoshone  d. Wampanoag

5. Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas how long ago?

a. 10 million years ago

b. 15 million years ago

c. 20 million years ago

d. 25 million years ago

6. Three different deboned types of poultry go into this Thanksgiving meal alternative?

a. Orange duck  b. Turducken  c. Turkey chow mein  d. Chixturck

7. In what year did Congress make Thanksgiving an official national holiday in the United States?

a. 1932  b. 1939  c. 1941  d. 1946

8. Twenty precent of the overall consumption of this type of fruit is done on Thanksgiving.

a. apples  b. cranberries  c. cherries  d. grapes

9. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was a welcome-home celebration for Sir Martin Frobisher when he returned to which area of the country?

a. Albert  b. Manitoba  c. British Columbia  d. Newfoundland

10. Canadians sometimes call the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States by this name to distinguish it from their own Thanksgiving celebration.

a. Yanksgiving  b. Amerigiving  c. Turmerica  d. USthanks

Answers: 1. c 2. a 3. b 4. d 5. a 6. b 7. c 8. b 9. d 10. a

United States is a Melting Pot of Cuisines!

CuisinesThe United States is a great melting pot and there are few things as synonymous with a particular culture than its cuisine. Dining at an ethnic restaurant or experimenting with regional flavors in the comforts of your own kitchen are a great ways to experience foreign cultures.  I ENJOY trying to new flavors and understanding how particular cultures came to create dishes native to their country.  Below are excerpts from a report published in the National Restaurant Association review written by Brett Thorn!

Some of the trendiest cuisines in the United States are still unknown to many Americans, who continue to do most of their culinary adventuring within the “big three” ethnic cuisines of Italian, Chinese and Mexican, according to a study released by the National Restaurant Association. Consumer interest in new cuisines is growing.

In its “Global Palates: Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors in America” report, the trade association’s first ethnic cuisine study in 16 years, the NRA asked more than 1,000 adults about their familiarity with cuisines that originated outside the United States, as well as regional cuisines within the U.S.

The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives. Italian is the most frequently eaten ethnic cuisine: 61 percent of those surveyed said they eat it at least once a month.

The NRA found that four out of five surveyed consumers eat at least one “ethnic” cuisine each month, and that two thirds eat a wider variety of cuisines than they did five years ago, with one third having tried at least one new cuisine in the past year.

“Typical restaurant diners are more knowledgeable, sophisticated and experienced than they were two decades ago,” the report said. “Today’s consumer — especially in the younger age groups — generally is more willing to try new foods and expand their taste buds.”

However, the “big three” ethnic cuisines still dominate, with roughly nine out of 10 respondents having tried all three at least once in their lives.

Apart from those three cuisines, the next in line in terms of popularity are regional American, Mediterranean, Japanese, Spanish, Belgian, German, French, Greek and Caribbean, each of which more than half of those surveyed said they tried at least once.

Most experimentation with ethnic foods is done at dinner. More than three quarters of respondents, 77 percent, said they eat ethnic food most often during the evening meal, while 18 percent pointed to lunch as their main time for ethnic eating.

Younger consumers also eat ethnic at breakfast. Although 66 percent of people ages 18 to 24 and 72 percent of those ages 25 to 34 who were surveyed said they mostly ate ethnic food at dinner, 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, said breakfast was their top time for ethnic food. That’s compared with 0 percent among people ages 35 to 64, and 1 percent of people ages 65 or older.

Younger consumers are also more likely to eat ethnic cuisines related to their own heritage. Fifty-seven percent of 18-to-24 year olds who responded said the ethnic foods they like to eat are tied to their family’s ancestry or heritage, compared with 43 percent of people overall.

Offering ethnic food as a special item can be an effective selling point, the study found. When asked if they would consider trying ethnic food as a special at their favorite restaurant, even if it were different from the type of food normally offered there, 80 percent of respondents said they would. However, 84 percent of respondents said they prefer to eat ethnic cuisine at restaurants that focus on that cuisine.

For the past 6 weeks my husband, myself and good friends have experienced different ethnic food and cultures; Syrian-The Fountain Grille in Westlake, Greek-Greek Village Grille in Brooklyn Hts., Columbian-Moncho’s in Cleveland, Jewish-Menorah Park in Cleveland, and Asian-Pearl of the Orient in Rocky River.  For two years I had tried to enroll in the Tri-C Neighborhood Scholar ‘Ethnic Cuisine – Food & Cultures’ Program.   The program is so popular that the ‘the old-timers’ have been enrolling for years and years in the program making it difficult for newbies to enroll; I am persistent.  This year I succeeded. All the restaurant owners and Chefs we have met through the Tri-C Program have expressed their gratitude to the good olde’ United States for the opportunity to succeed.  So in addition to tasting some extraordinary cuisines it was refreshing to meet people who believe the United States is a land of great opportunity. And a place to share the wonderful flavors of their culture.