Monthly Archives: March 2012

Pumphouse Pub- Richmond BC

Last Friday, Richmond’s Pumphouse Pub invited me to join them for one of their infamous “Long Table Dinners”.

The concept behind the Long Table Dinner is brilliant. Basically, the idea is to have customers come out & try new, exciting craft beers from breweries across North America.

This is a great way to get customers to become more open minded & explore past their “go-to” drink.

This month’s long table dinner was hosted by award-winning Green Flash Brewery, located all the way in San Diego, CA. I had the opportunity of trying 5 different Green Flash Craft Beers, each of which was cleverly paired to a dish the chef at the Pumphouse Pub had created. 

The first beer brought out was Green Flash Rayon Vert. It was by far my favorite beer. It was light, delicate & filled with citrusy hops. A more of a “girl beer” I would say (I know you are all judging me at the moment =) ). The dish chosen to pair was a Thai Noodle Mango Salad; baby shrimp, mangoes, shredded coconut, bean sprouts & cashews. It was a very refreshing noodle salad & its fruity mango hints worked perfectly with the citrus hops of the Rayon Vert.

The next beer brought out was a Green Flash West Coast IPA.  It was a full flavored, medium bodied and copper colored beer that kind of smelt like…..horse hay? Don’t worry though! I solemnly swear that its taste was far from its smell.

The dish that was chosen to compliment the drink was a Coconut Curry Prawn with a Jicama & Pineapple Slaw. The prawns were beautifully cooked & the slaw was lovely. However, the coconut flavors were much too subtle. I personally felt that the West Coast IPA was far too heavy of a beer to match the delicacy of this protein.

The next dish, Spicy Dry Rubbed Roast Beef with Caramelized Yams was by far my favorite. Oh. My. God. This dish was so good that I had completely forgotten about the beer until I nearly licked my plate clean. What in the world was in that spice rub!?

The Le Freak Belgian Style IPA that had been chosen to pair with this dish was extremely satisfying with the Roast Beef. Much more satisfying than a glass of red (this is coming from a serious wine lover)!

One of the dinner guests had made an interesting point: “Beer has much more versatility than wine does, yet we never think to match our dinner with it”. 

The Le Freak beer…was a little freaky to be honest ( in a good way!). I’ve never had a beer quite like it. My taste buds were on fire with flavors of malt, oak and apple! Also…check out the white foamy head on this beauty!

The final main course brought to the table was a Grilled Jerk Salmon with Miso Bay Scallops & Coconut rice .

Alright where do I begin with this dish? First off, both proteins (salmon and scallops) were cooked to perfection. I’m still not sure what Miso-Bay is but whatever it’s supposed to be…it worked & tasted great. The texture of the rice was very good, although there was absolutely no trace of coconut in this “coconut rice”. I’m assuming the rice was cooked in coconut milk, however– it failed to absorb any of the flavour.

The beer chosen to pair with this dish was the Green Flash Imperial IPA. The IPA was quite hoppy, yet it managed to have notes of sweet floral. This sweetness played perfectly with the salmon & dominated the bitterness of the IPA. A very successful pairing I would say.

One of the table guests, Taylor, who was a beer & wine whiz, told me that beer lacing is a very good indicator of a high quality beer.

He was right. Check out the lacing on this Green Flash IPA…clinged to the glass for its life. Bet your Corona can’t do that trick!

We finally finished off the night with the Green Flash Double Stout Beer & a decadent Raspberry Cheesecake Pie.

Our amazing culinary adventure was then topped off with some great late night music.

What an amazing time Kiana & I had! I would like to give another BIG thank you to the Pumphouse Pub for having me! You have a truly special place & I will definitely be recommending it. Lastly, I would like to say how wonderful it was to have met and dined with all you craft-beer loving foodies! This experience was a wonderful way to have gotten to know some of you Richmond locals =).

If any of you would like to share a similar experience, the Pumphouse Pub offers these Long Table Dinners once a month!

Click here to find out more!

-r xo

 

 

5 Minute Cake Pops!

Good Morning my dear food loving Vancouverites! I hope you`re all starting your week off with some good eats. I`m starting mine by sharing one of my favorite Cake Pop secrets !

For those of you who have made Cake Pops in the past, I`m sure you know how time consuming they can be! Luckily, I`ve discovered a little trick that allows me to make these sinfully good bite sized cake morsels in just 5 minutes!

I announced my secret this morning on Vancity Buzz….you can check it out here!

Love always,
smgirlbigplate XO

 

Watermelon & Lime Jello Shooters

I’m very excited to announce that smgirlbigplate is now a food columnist for Vancouver’s largest blog-Vancity Buzz. I will be releasing a food article every Monday morning here …so keep your eyes peeled!

If you didn’t get a chance to check out my debut post this morning…here is a sneak peek! Watermelon & Lime Jello Shooters…adorable I know!

I have posted the recipe & directions on Vancity Buzz. Click the following link..Watermelon Lime Jello Shooters.

I hope you will all enjoy them! I sure did.

Love always
-r

Chicken Satays with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

 

These chicken satays come loaded with mind blowing flavours! The yogurt marinade creates an extremely juicy & tender chicken satay and the peanut sauce will leave an unforgettable after-taste in your mouth.

They are by far the most requested dish at my catering events. Try them for yourselves and you’ll see why!

I love making these because it gives me an excuse to indulge in some peanut butter. Confession: I may have a slight peanut butter obsession.

The trick to the perfect chicken satay lies in the preparation of the chicken. To ensure even cooking- “butterfly” your chicken breast by running the blade of the knife width-wise down the breast. Do not cut all the way through!

Keep the edge intact & open the breast along the fold.

Cut the chicken breast into equal sized pieces. Repeat this method for each chicken breast. This recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts ( 3-4 breasts)- which yields around 15-20 chicken skewers.

Once prepared, transfer the chicken strips to the fridge & start on the yogurt marinade.

Yogurt Marinade for Chicken Satay’s

1 cup of Plain Yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1  teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips (method shown above)
15-20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

In a large mixing bowl combine: 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 1/2 tsp of grated ginger, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp of curry powder & 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro.

Add the chicken pieces to the marinade and give it a gentle toss until each chicken piece is coated. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

If you let the chicken satay’s absorb the flavours of the marinade overnight- they will be much more tender.

When ready, skewer each chicken strip in a “thread” like method. Please make sure you have pre-soaked your wooden skewers first!

Broil the chicken satays for approximately 8-9 minutes and turn to broil another 4-5 minutes on the other side. Serve with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce (click for the recipe!).

Bon Appétit!
xo r

Avocado Deviled Eggs

These sexy devils put a wicked spin on the traditional Deviled Egg.  I can say with confidence that these eggs will be the life of the party! Take my word and make doubles!

It’s such a clever idea, I know! Sadly, I didn’t come up with it myself..credit must be given to the one and only Martha Stewart.

However, I jazzed up Martha’s original recipe by adding a few touches of my own =). One of them being the addition of Garlic Powder from Leisure Lane Farms-which one of my Twitter followers had kindly mailed me. Sprinkling garlic powder on the tops of these deviled eggs made them that much better! Thank you Gary!

Ingredients

6 hard boiled eggs
1 medium avocado, diced small
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (sourcream or greek Yogurt for healthier alternative)
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of lime zest
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to sprinkle on top of eggs)
Salt to taste

Directions

1. Peel eggs and cut in half, either lengthwise or crosswise. Carefully scoop out yolks, and arrange whites on a platter or tray.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, process egg yolks, avocado, lemon juice, lemon zest & mayonnaise until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the green onions.

3. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with a touch of cayenne pepper, garlic powder & fresh green onions.

 

Bon Apetit!
r xo