Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick to Assemble Mini Chicken Sliders

A lovely German friend of mine invited us over one day for a chill night of Beer Pong and Apples to Apples. Of all the festivities, of course I remember the food table the most. TS simply put out some rotisserie chicken, mini buns, a package of hummus and coleslaw - AND DAMN THIS WAS A GOOD COMBO! I would have never put these ingredients together but BOY was it one tasty little slider! Or two ... or three. Give it a whirl, people!

Mama Phan's 'Risotto Fried Rice'

After some discussion with my sister and consulting Google, I decided to call his dish 'risotto fried rice'. I'm sure all the Asians know what I'm referring to. Made much like risotto or pilaf, this raw and slowly fried glutinous rice is made with constant stirring and adding of water and stock. Fried in plump clumps with Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, mushroom and egg, this rice dish takes a lot of work, love and patience to perfect. Lucky for me, my mom, and all of my aunts are masters at producing this to the tee! We are a bunch of lucky little piggies. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Laughing Cow Cheese Brightens My Day!

MmmmMMMmm, Laughing Cow Cheese. This post really needs no further words except I have to try the flavored ones. I eat one with crackers every day as a snack at work and say 'MmmmMmm' with every bite. Right, MC? PS - I just realized that crazy cow is donning the cheese as earrings, WEIRD. Oh well, it's a Phan Fave and I'm still going to eat it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

You Had Me at Crispy Ceci ...

What is this 'Crispy Ceci' you ask? It's tiny balls of deep fried chickpeas mixed with chillies, mint and citrus. I'm talking about Campangolo here - an Italian gem on the outskirts of Chinatown nestled right on Main Street. It is the best little appetizer ever and unique in every way. I'm pretty sure you haven't lived until you've tasted this crackling sensation in your mouth. VanMag published it, so it MUST be good!

Next up, word on the street was that after many revisions of the menu, their pork ragu was one of the few that survived. The Tagliatelle was definitely tasty and made with basil and Pecorino Romano cheese. However, the other two dishes outshone this one in my opinion.

My foodie friend CS opted for my second choice on the menu, their Carbonara pizza. Now you all know I am a LUVA of pasta carbonara, but imagine it on a PIZZA! With a sunny side egg cracked on top ... DROOL-A-RAMA! This pizza pie was HUGE in size and fluffy in dough like an elephant's ear. It was topped off with smoked provolone, bacon, cremini mushrooms and onions. I am screaming 'Excellente!' right now as I bring my fingers together, lift my hand to my mouth, touch my fingers to my lips and release a loud smooch of fireworks for this breathtaking dish!

Last but not least, SC chose their divine Pappardelle. Tossed with fennel sausage, rapini, garlic, parsley and breadcrumbs, this dish wrapped up our lunch quite nicely. I would 100% recommend this Italian resto to you all and hey, why not hit up the Cobalt across the street after? I did one once and it was one HELL of a night! ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Asian Comfort Food - Bubble Tea and Thick Toast

This is Asian soul food. When we feel happy, we go for bubble tea to celebrate. When we are sad, we drown our sorrows in milk tea and tapioca. It's our comfort food alright. Featured here is the tofu dessert with pearls from Bubble World. Some people might irk at the thought of a cold, sweet tofu consistency as dessert (like many do when they hear about Chinese desserts with beans) but this soft, slurp-able drink in sugary syrup with round tapioca pearls is one of my favorite bubble teas. And they do it oh-so-right at the Bubble World on Kingsway.

Here we can a nice baked thick toast covered in condensed milk. Fatty and delicious! Other popular toppings include peanut butter, chocolate or just plain butter and sugar. The perfect warm and gooey snack to wash down with an ice cold bubble tea! Whatever you do, do NOT count your calories at this place. Rumor has it that a milk tea with pearls has more calories than a Big Mac!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Wonderful World of Panko (Crusted Tiger Prawns)

Panko crusted tiger prawns with Thai sweet chili sauce. Easy to make and even easier to eat! Buy a bag of frozen prawns, defrost, peel and devein (if not already done), cut slits down the middle and butterfly and prepare for dipping! Add flour to a small bowl. In another shallow dish, beat an egg (and add a bit of milk if you like) and in a third bowl, pour out your panko crumbs (coconut or Parmesan would be nice touches as well). Take the shrimp by the end, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg, and then coat with the crust and place them on a pan with the tails in the air. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees Celsius and serve with the Thai sweet chili sauce. Makes for a great appetizer! Two tips though: do NOT substitute panko for bread crumbs (it just ain't the same) and leave the tails on (easier to batter and eat)! Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes. :)

I also have to give a special shout out to my pal HS who tried this recipe and failed due to my mix-up of directions!!! My apologies to her and her beau. She is an awesome 'phan' of Phancouver and I love her for continuing to read my blog and giving me feedback! The above recipe is now fixed and I hope you can all enjoy some properly cooked prawns this time!