Saturday, July 25, 2009

Best Porchetta Sandwich.

The last time I tried to eat at the Stockyards, it was closed. At 8pm on a Saturday night! This time, we went a bit sooner. I was starving after my long run this morning and C wasn't working today, so we hopped on the TTC and headed straight over to St. Clair West. Having studied the menu before leaving the house, I already knew I had to have the Porchetta Sandwich. With the sauteed rapini. And fries. And a Stewart's lime soda to drink. It did not disappoint in the littlest way whatsoever.

First of all, the pork was moist, juicy and layered in beautiful thin slices. The garlic aioli was just enough. Not so garlicky that it overpowered the flavour of the pork. And the fries? Thin and hand-cut. But most importantly, this special sandwich was made with tender loving care by the lovely gentleman in the photo above. And love is that je ne sais quoi ingredient that just makes everything taste that much better. Go to the Stockyards right now!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

O Mercado Municipal de Lagos

We managed to find a vibrant local market everywhere we went in Portugal. The mercado in Lagos was beautiful, having recently been modernized. The street level had an incredible selection of local seafood, while the upper level had produce, dry good, bakeries and a cafe.

I was mesmerized by these incredible eels that looked as if they had been dipped in chrome before being carefully placed on ice. It's hard to tell from the picture, but each are about three feet long. I don't know their name, but I have no doubt they are delicious after a short ride on the bbq.

The entrance to the market, which faced the marina

A selection of seafood. Name that lumpy pink thing!

Beautiful tile work along the stairs to the upper level


Olive Oil Granola

You can always count on the NYTimes Dining & Wine section for interesting recipes. Did you see the recent recipe for granola with olive oil?

I passed on the dried apricots (dry gagging sound) and pistachios (not for breakfast, thank you) and used a more traditional mix. Rolled oats, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and dates. The only other adjustment is the maple syrup... cut back a 1/4 cup and it's perfect.


Pre-Show Snack

Before a night in the mosh pit you really need to fill up with a good meal. The new Rodney's, cleverly wedged into what had been a handful of parking spots, seemed like a good place to have our pre-show meal. We started with oysters and then sampled a few other dishes.

When it comes to dessert I often like to take a second look at the menu. A piece of cake is great and all, but wouldn't you rather have an oyster BLT? A fried oyster sitting atop cripsy panchetta, peppery greens and a juicy tomato beats cake any day.

After the oysters we shared a delicious piece of black cod with wilted greens, red pepper and shitake mushrooms.

For dessert – some Frightened Rabbit at the Horseshoe Tavern.


Hank vs. Tim by guest blogger Tomi

Hank vs. Tim: Shockingly smooth & rich with no aftertaste. Hank, you might have me coming back for more!

***My comment to Lois about her attachment to Tim Horton's coffee comes from a place of (tough) love. Now the question is, can we still be friends?

Tomi, I think we could keep doing Hank's coffee together. And remain friends afterall.


Classy coffee

After a very satisfying lunch of salmon chirashi at Hiro with three lovely colleagues (Michael, Tomi, Rob), Tomi suggested we get a coffee before heading back to the office. I said, "Sure, Tim Horton's?" She looked at me and laughed as she replied, "Lois, you're so classy in every other way except for your coffee!" Whaaaa?! So we decided to compromise and grab a drip coffee at Hank's instead, and you know what? It was really good! Bold but not bitter, smooth and toasty. And better yet? Tomi's going to give her review too as our first ever Broccoli & Prosecco guest reviewer. Coming up next.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Do Not Mix

The Beer Bistro has an amazing selection of Beer from around the world. With so many choices, what are the odds I would pick the two you should never have back-to-back – Delerium and Muadite. The glasses come with their own subtle warning – dancing pink elephants and grinning demons. I made it home, but not in a straight line.


Sunday breakfast

A plain jane breakfast while browsing blogs– wholewheat toast with almond butter and a handful of cherries picked the day before.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Cherries and other berries

This weekend was all about the fresh local fruit, namely berries. We arrived at the E.D. Smith cherry farm bright and early at 8:30am and picked 36 lbs of cherries– 2 buckets each. After that, on a whim, we ended up driving all the way to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a picnic lunch. But on the way back we stopped at a fruit shack and bought local raspberries, saskatoons, strawberries and apricots. Oh, and I also got a jar of local honey made in Beamsville. Just so you know, we didn't keep all 36 lbs of cherries for ourselves!


Friday, July 17, 2009

The produce department…

There is now actual produce on my balcony. I have no idea what I'm doing. Basically I just sprinkled some seeds in dirt and watered them. Mother Nature did the rest. And now, I've got lettuce (an heirloom variety called Rouge d'hiver) and arugula. I can't quite believe that I grew my own salad.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Red quinoa salad

I was just getting ready to post on the dinner I made last night when I saw this post on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn on a quinoa tabbouleh, which is similar to what I'd made.

I bought the organic red quinoa at St. Lawrence Market and added chopped tomato from the CSA box, boiled potato also from the CSA box, basil from my balcony, and my favourite canned tuna (packed in olive oil). Salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and dinner is served. And your house smells nutty and toasty too.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lentil burgers

Got the recipe for these lentil burgers from the latest issue of LCBO's free mag Food & Drink. It's a bit labour intensive with a lot of steps and a lot of chopping, not too different from Broccoli's ultimate veggie burger. A side of sweet potato fries, some volcanic wine to drink and strawberry shortcake for dessert will knock you out. Literally. I passed out after dinner.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday Night at Feast

Summer in Chicago...doesn't last very long it seems; so when the weather is gorgeous it's best to enjoy the evening on a patio. Last night, my West Loop friends travelled to my neighborhood, the Gold Coast, to enjoy the large sidewalk patio, the endless amount of people watching and meeting, the great wait staff and of course the amazing food and cocktails found once again at Feast. We started our meal with glasses of Rosé but quickly switched to Cosmos. Dinner for me was a chicken breast stuffed with herbed goat cheese, gnocchi, with spinach and tomatoes in a lemon butter sauce, Nidhi had one of the specials for the evening, an amazing flank steak, with potatoes and asparagus. Our other late arrivals ordered the chicken breast as well, while the other had another special: the shrimp pizza. I enjoyed the chocolate lava cake for dessert and the late arrivals shared a berry cobbler...also yum. We were happily surprised when the staff at more cupcakes, right down the street, arrived with a late-night, large tray FULL of mini-cupcakes for Feast to share with their customers. Even though we were already so full each of us managed to gobble down the cupcakes. Late night mini-cupcakes...that's what I call a nightcap. Feast never disappoints.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally Foxley

We've been trying to have dinner at Foxely since it opened, but always seem to pick a night when the wait is over an hour. Last night we were lucky to score the last table, sitting comfortably at the back with a nice breeze from the open door.

I've loved this style of spicy, asian infused cooking since we first tried Youki years ago. Youki is long gone, but Foxley's chef who was involved with that temple of cuisine brought back fond memories with each dish we sampled.

Blue crab and avocado salad

Spicy crispy shrimps with jalepeno and garlic

Steamed p.e.i mussels with green curry

Grilled hanger steak with chimichuri

Lamb and duck prosciutto dumplings


Monday, July 6, 2009


I knew I had more then just the delicious foi gras. Beet Salad and tar tar here.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Confessions of a liar blogger

Today I was called out and broken down by Fusilli who called me a liar blogger. Its true I don't like foi gras. I AM a liar blogger. Me hanging my head in shame for liar blogging listening to Margarita ville while drinking cheap merlot at Joy bistro with fussilli and broccoli.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Not Poutine

Dirty (filthy) martinis, then some great Bordeaux with dinner, seared fois gras (oooo, yes I ate fois gras, shut up), scallops with crisp bacony polenta, pork croquettes with cauliflower and other flavours and a delicious beet salad. Presented like Megan Fox on a plate, tasted better. Go to Laloux off St. Denis on Rue des Pins Est. in Montreal it was awesome. The place looks nice too.


I heart Chuck Hughes

My colleague Natalya turned me onto Chuck Hughes (from the show Chuck's Day Off) this past week. How could I have not noticed this hottie before on the Food channel, which I watch religiously?? And even better, he's Canadian, from Montreal, where he's the chef and owner of Garde-Manger.

This week, I made a warm potato salad I saw him make on TV. Delectable. I'm not so crazy about cold, mayonaisse-y potato salads so I knew this was the one for me. I didn't have any white wine vinegar so I subbed in apple cider vinegar (tasted great) , and used the green beans from my CSA box. Thank goodness I have leftovers in the fridge because I'm starving right now!

Chuck Hughes' Warm Potato Salad

Courtesy of: Chuck's Day Off
Episode: The Bro Show


Warm Potato Salad:

  • 1 1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes
  • 4 eggs, hardboiled and halved
  • 2 tinned anchovies, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • Handful of baby green beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of coarse salt and grinding of crack black pepper


Warm Potato Salad:

  1. Wash and place fingerling potatoes into a pot of water. Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer till just fork tender. You can use the same pot for boiling eggs. Just watch the time.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, make dressing in your serving bowl or if you have a mortar and pestle, use that. Begin with mashing the anchovy into the mustard and garlic. Add vinegar and slowly whisk in the oil. If too thick, water down a bit with water.
  3. Blanch beans, drain and chill down with cold water bath. Drain on a towel.
  4. Peel eggs. And cut in half.
  5. Drain potatoes and while still warm, drop into bowl with dressing.
  6. Add beans and eggs.
  7. Fold all gently together and serve warm in shallow white plate/bowls


Thursday, July 2, 2009


Broccoli gets all the credit for finding this restaurant. It wasn't in a guide book and I don't know the name of it or what street it's on but if you're in Tavira and a little lost, just follow your nose. It's an outdoor restaurant billowing with smoke from a giant BBQ. You wait for a little bit, then you sit down, no menu, and then they start bringing you fishes and salad and potatoes and grilled bread and wine and then some more fishes until you say stop. I want more.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Balcony Basil Bruschetta

Prosecco hooked me up with two varieties of her home grown balcony basil... chronic. Yesterday we made tomato buffalo mozzarella salad with basil. Delicious, but not enough basil. Tonight I decided to use it up before it wilted, so I made three kinds of bruschetta. Each toast was (perhaps too) lovingly rubbed with garlic.

1. Ricotta with tomato, basil and parmesan
2. Tomato, basil and parmesan
3. Pierre-Robert triple-crème, pesto (both varieties) and toasted pine nuts


To New Friends

Vacation isn't just about freedom from socks. It's about getting out of your routine and seeing things from a new perspective. It's about meeting people and making new friends. Meet my new friend – Tanqueray No. 10. He/she is a delightful companion, rarely dull and always welcome in our home.

On our last night in London we stopped in for a snack at Maze, one of the many Gordon Ramsay restaurants in a growing franchise. I think our lovely bartenderess mentioned 14 in London alone.

The food was excellent, but what I really took to was the Gin Martini. Using a vaporizer, the bartenderess spritzed ice cubes in a shaker with vermouth before adding the Tanqueray. That's when I put up my hand, and asked what exactly was going on. After an explanation, I ordered my own. The first sip tasted like a perfect oyster, and it just got better from there.

To new friends!


It begins

The next twelve thousand posts from Broccoli and Fusilli will be about Portugal, Portugal and maybe a little Portugal. I'm starting with my favourite things - clams!

I ate them as often as I could and even when the waiter said the clams weren't in yet, I said "I'll wait."
See the little droplets of butter? And the giant chunk of garlic? 
Your turn, Broccoli!