Category Archives: 2014

The House of Sotol

Enrique Elias of Vinomex, speaking of Sotol, their innovative distilled spirit.

Made from the Daisyliron Wheeleri, an Agave relative, Sotol is a traditional spirit in the Chihuaha region of Mexico. The Vinomex version is the first of it’s kind, a premium quality spirit based on the old recipes and brought to life by a master oenologist who was previously with Moet & Chandon and Remy Martin.

Banana coconut rum upside down cake (gluten free)

Recipe and photos by Rita Anastasiou.

banana-coconut upside down cake 3

It all started with a failed attempt to make a healthy dessert… It was one of those days again,when I was trying so desperately to trick my sweet tooth with plain bananas…! One thing brought another,I realized I had in my pantry Malibu Rum and all the ingredients for a cake. It’s not any kind of cake! It’s one of the most  moist,rich,fluffy upside down cake you’ve ever had! The caramelized bananas pair beautifully with the warm spiced and the coconut rum! The kitchen bathes with the aromas of the baked bananas…  Try to refuse a piece of cake like this!

banana-coconut upside down cake 2

banana-coconut upside down cake

Crawdad Bisque

 Recipe and photographs by Gayle Hurmuses

This recipe is based on one that I originally had in Halifax, NS, at Cafe Chianti, in 2008, while in town for a conference. I happened to be there the first night and tried the lobster bisque, which took me back to the restaurant twice more during my 4 day stay.

Vegetables for bisque
Vegetables for bisque

It’s been a long time since I was there, so not sure if this is quite as good as the original, but it’s satisfying to me and regularly complimented.

Crawdads (or Crayfish)
Crawdads (or Crayfish)

I normally make this recipe with lobster, as per the original, but on the day that photos were shot, I was using crayfish, hence “crawdads” in the title.

 

 

 

 

 

Jaine’s mom’s Pecan Pie

I’m a day late for Pi Day…oops.

Recipe by Mrs Ross, photos by Gayle Hurmuses

Use with Pie Crust recipe

*Note: Jaine tells me that it’s important to use white sugar, rather than brown (flavour)…and I have discovered that agave syrup is a great substitute for the corn syrup.

I also cut the syrup portion by 1/3 and increased the pecans to make up the volume. For me personally, this makes a very satisfying pie.

Pizza Dough

Once upon a time, I would want to make pizza and if the weather was nasty out, I’d just forget about it because the bakery was so far away. Despite the fact that I’d spent most of my life making homemade bread, it didn’t occur to me that pizza dough doesn’t require as much time and work.

You can mix this up and use it immediately, but I prefer to let it sit for at least an hour in the oven with the light on before stretching the dough.

Pizza Dough Stretched
Pizza Dough, Stretched

You can vary the amounts of flour, which will give you different textures and degrees of pliability. This recipe is easy to stretch while in the pan, simply plopping the ball of dough in the pan and then pulling it like taffy (for those that remember this) to the edges of the pan. It’s a very good texture for making a thin crust and gooey enough that if you make a tear, you can easily break off a piece from a thicker part and use it as a patch. It will heal itself quickly if placed across the tear.

Increasing  flour to 3 cups will give you a dough that could work if you want to try your hand at stretching it by tossing above your head.

If you have never done this before though, I recommend practicing your flips with a wet towel first to get the technique, and then making  extra dough in case something goes wrong. A fun trick to master though, and I fondly remember my time as a pizza cook in the West End of Vancouver in my teens.

Pizza With Sauce
Pizza With Sauce

As long as you don’t drop it on the floor, you should be able to get something out of it. As this dough is tender, it is best to use a thin sauce, rather than  a thick one. I tend to thin mine with olive oil.

 

Pizza Toppings
Pizza Toppings

When it comes to topping the pizza, I find that it works best to chop all the ingredient to the sizes that I like best for each and then mix all together in a bowl before topping the pizza. You get better distribution this way than by individually placing items on the dough, which relatively speaking

Chocolate Mole Sauce

I’ve loved mole sauce since the first time I tried it, and the best I’ve ever tasted was in a cantina in Blaine, Washington, just across the border from Canada. My mom had taken me there for lunch and while it was a simple restaurant, the food was stellar. I have tried for years to reproduce that sauce and with this combination, believe that I have hit the jackpot. For my own most recent batch, I rendered the pork fat off of the rind of some double-smoked bacon, gaining particularly delicious results.

This recipe is designed to make a lot because it’s enough trouble to go to that I want lots on hand when I make it and delicious enough that I will use it up in a year’s time….and it makes a great gift.

Potato Latkes

Recipe and photograph by Gayle Hurmuses

My friend Lindsay was looking for his latke recipe, so decided I would write up this one. I make several variations on the theme of Latkes, but this is a good basic type, and my general favourite.

My preference is to fry them in chicken fat and have them with sour cream, but applesauce is also popular. If you plan to serve them at room temperature, or are making them for a Hanukah event, of course fry them in oil.