Monthly Archives: February 2015

Soup with Carrots and Lean Pork

I love soup!  Is there anything better than a hot steaming soup full of nutrients and vitamins on a -30C cold day?!  Well, maybe, stew or chicken noodle soup, but I am not sick.  I just needed something to prevent flu and colds.  Carrots ensure vitamin c and carotene, lean pork adds flavour and protein in the mixture.

Ingredients

20141225_1825481 pound lean pork, skim all the fat away (makes soup less oily)

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces

1 small or medium green carrot, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces

4 cups water

apricot seeds, honey dates for extra flavours

2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

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1) Peel and chip the carrots into 1 inch pieces.  On high heat, start boiling the 4 cups of water.20141225_184741

2) Once the water starts boiling, put in the pork, apricot seeds and honey dates.  Let it boil for 1 minute.20141225_184830

3) Put in the carrots and let the soup boil for 2 minutes.  Turn the heat down to medium and let the soup simmer for 1 hour.  You will notice the bubbles are less vigorous with medium heat.20141225_211302

4)  Stir in 2 teaspoon of salt and let it simmer for another 15 minutes.  Enjoy~20141225_211328

 

So sweet and so fresh and vitamins replenishing~

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The Fish Market (Ottawa)

Address: 54 York St. Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 5T1 (Byward Market)

Phone: (613) 241-3474

Website: http://www.fishmarket.ca/

Byward Market is quite a neat place with flee markets, boutiques and restaurants everywhere.  It reminds me a bit of Quincy Market in Boston.  They both have a similar idea and airy atmosphere; both chilly and cold in the winter.

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The Fish Market is on the main floor of the building.  The second floor is a sister restaurant that serves all you can eat seafood meals and the basement is a brother restaurant that serves more seafood.  On the day we went (Sunday), only the Fish Market was opened during noon hours.

The moment you step inside, the decor will feel like you have traveled back in time or you went to your cottage.  It was all made with wood at every corner – wooden beams, doors, benches, tables, stairs and floors – with sailor or ocean related ornaments – nets, variety of fish species, crustacean species, and fishermen boats, buoys –  hung on the beams. It carried out the seafood and maritime theme quite appropriately.   It was warm, friendly and comfortable in appearance, but quite dated too.
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Complimentary bread and dip from the restaurant.  The bread was steaming hot, crunchy crust and soft interior.  But what impressed me the most was the oil / sauce.  The oil was infused with garlic, tarragon, marjoram, chili pepper, peppercorn, dried basil and salt.  It was sweet, salty and spicy, great combination.  We asked for bread refills nonstop.

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Smoked Salmon Sushi Roll ($11.99) was filled with stone crab meat, cucumber, mango and red onion, wrapped in smoked salmon.  Mediocre and salty.  Texture was soft and weird.

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Spicy Crab Cakes ($13.99) was fried fresh crab meat blended with herbs,  served with lemon & garlic aioli.

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Creamy Clam Chowder ( cup 5.99 or bowl 9.99) was a restaurant exclusive recipe loaded with clams, potato and vegetables.  The size ordered was a bowl. There was lack of clam flavour and the texture was very starchy, too much potatoes.  No doubt it was filling but it was quite a disappointment for me.

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Steamed Canadian Mussels ($12.99) was done In your choice of 3 sauces: vegetable, white wine & garlic  OR a spicy Cajun style creole tomato sauce OR creamy mushroom & leak sauce.  This particular one was the white wine & garlic sauce.  The dish was well worth the price, as the portion size was huge and every shell had a meat attached to it.  Mussels were fresh and chewy, burst of flavours in your mouth as you bite into it.  Voted the best out of the selection ordered.

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Fried Calamari ($11.99) was seasoned and deep fried with a sour cream dill sauce.  Big portion of lightly battered calamari, fried to nice crispy texture on the outside and chewy rubbery calamari on the inside.  The dish was standard, felt like any other pub style calamari rings, but less oil.

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Grilled Steak with Mashed Potatoes was standard, once again.  It is a stapled item for all restaurants.  No compliments or dislikes to the steak.IMG_6363

Florida Swordfish Steak ($27.99) was BBQ and finished with a strawberry peppercorn salsa.  This fish was the highlight of the meal because I find swordfish quite fresh and interesting.  It had a rough meat texture (think of sandpaper), but flaky.  It reminds me a bit like shark meat, where the rough texture is from natural selection.  The strawberry salsa adds a hint of sweetness to the fish.  Mixed with a bit of lemon juice, it softens up the meat and adds depth to the overall taste.  It was a choice with variable flavours but not confusing where you would be thinking “huuuuh”.

Overall, Fish Market was not too memorable that I will always visit if I am in Ottawa. In a way, disappointing.

Ratings
Food 2.75/5
Ambiance 3/5
Service 3/5

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Schwartz’s (Montreal)

Montreal is known for smoked meat sandwiches and poutine.

Address: 3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1X9

Telephone: (514) 842-4813

Website: http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/

Located in Mont Royal division of Montreal, this deli place has a long history that dates back to early 1900s, meaning it has been opened for a century.  Schwart’z is a landmark tucked in a neighbourhood of funky storefronts welcoming the locals and international visitors.IMG_6418

Upon arrival at 10 am for breakfast or lunch on a Tuesday, we were expecting a relatively quiet and spacious restaurant. I was so wrong! The restaurant was PACKED and never ending lineup was visible. The waiters were bustling around carrying dishes of food, cutting meat, taking orders etc.  It was a hustling busy place, more than any other store on the street.  We were lucky to have gotten a table for 6 right away, very tight seats but cozy.IMG_6416

The restaurant was small and no renovations were done over the years.  It looked ancient but cozy, like your typical diner just to make you feel comfortable.  Any Schwart’z related newspaper articles and celebrity photographs who ate there were posted on the wall.  These clippings and pictures, inadvertently, act like a praise or a branding of some sort, the best advertisement ever.  I liked the fact that the restaurant maintained its tradition and appearance over the years since it had been founded.

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Infamous Smoked Meat Sandwich ($8.70), was delicious.  One serving has at least 2 pounds of thick cut smoked meat , definitely worth it.  I really liked how there was a bit of fat connected to the strips of meat.   The sandwich texture was soft and melt in the mouth.  Mustard spread was genetic but it added a zing to the sandwich, really amazing combo!  It was just extremely fresh!  You should see their display and the amount of smoked meat they sell a day.  IT WAS NEVER ENDING!IMG_6420

Rib Steak Combo ($18.95) comes with a grilled sausage, liver steak and rib steak.

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Assorted Meat Platter ($15.95) came with a rib steak, sausage and smoked meat.

In reality, there was not much difference in the meat platters.   Large portions, a lot of meat.  The meat was marinated with the same Schwartz meat spice.  Meat texture was tender and grilled to perfect medium rare.  It was very juicy and strong in peppercorn flavours.  There is more to the Schwartz spice than just peppercorn; I am unsure what else there is.

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Our combos / platters came with a plate of coleslaw and pickle, as well as fries.  Fries were quite standard; nothing can ever go wrong with it.  Coleslaw was fresh and not sour or overdressed with mayo like the tubs from the grocery stores.  Meanwhile, the pickle was huge!  It was crunchy and had a strong vinegar flavour to it, as expected.

I really loved the meal overall.

Note: You can get vacuumed packages of sliced smoke meat, or whole smoked meat and Schwartz meat spices as souvenirs from the restaurant too.  Maybe it is worth buying to study the secrets behind the deli restaurant success and how they continue the scrumptious food legacy.  Meanwhile, you can also reminiscence the tasty meal once again.

Ratings

Food 4/5

Ambiance 3/5

Service 3.75/5

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