Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Roundup - Inspired Tastes From Both Near & Afar

Stonemill Bakehouse Country Rye - Last week I had the opportunity to attend the launch of Stonemill Bakehouse's Country Rye Bread at Jamie Kennedy's Gilead Café. Having been a fan of Stonemill Bakehouse for years thanks to their participation with sip & Savour Ontario, and recently picking up a bread, croissant, or pastry from their bakery in St. Lawrence Market at least twice a week, I was really eager to not only taste their new product, but hear first hand from the president of Stonemill, Gottfried Boerhinger, about the company's commitment to sourcing local, sustainable, and GMO-free ingredients. I learned that last Summer and Fall, in collaboration with three Prince Edward County farmers, Stonemill was able to successfully grow a test crop of rye. This coming year they expect to harvest over 100-tonnes of rye. Their goal is to work collaboratively with local farmers to have over 2,000 acres under contract for sustainable, GMO-free, Ontario-grown grains by 2018.

To promote their new rye, Stonemill partnered with Chef Jamie Kennedy to create a number of delicious hors d'oeuvres featuring Stonemill's rye bread, these included: Hot Smoked Whitefish Canapé, Salmon Tartare on Crisp Rye, and Classic Beef Tartare on Crisp Rye. In addition to the hors d'oeuvres that were circulating throughout the event, Chef Jamie was on hand making fresh Stonemill rye flour crêpes with Ontario maple syrup throughout the event. After trying all of the hors d'oeuvres, the crêpes, and Stonemills rye bread dipped in olive oil, I can confidently say that they have a great product on their hands. Slightly different than the traditional rye bread, I loved how Stonemill's rye contains spelt flour, sunflower seeds, and oats. Keep your eyes open for Stonemill Bakehouse's  Country Rye Bread! It's definitely a must-try! To try Jamie's Stonemill Bakehouse Country Rye recipes, email me!

Jamie Kennedy's Gilead - It was very fitting to hold the Stonemill Bakehouse Country Rye launch at Jamie Kennedy's Gilead Café, as Jamie reflects Stonemill's same commitment to promoting local, sustainable, GMO-free products. That message was evident from the moment you step into Gilead, with almost every wall lined with a beautiful assortment of preserves. Filled with all different fruits and vegetables, of varying shapes and colours, the preserve walls looked absolutely striking when entering the café.

The County General - The County General has quickly become one of my go-to restaurants, knowing that each and every time I dine there I am sure to have a delicious experience. Having tried a few of their more unique menu items, this week on a beautiful sunny evening, I decided to see how the County General's classic burger fared in my burger books. Although I'm sure to devour most burgers you put in front of me, it takes a particular breed of deliciousness for me to give a burger the label of "great", usually finding most burgers to be "just alright". With their thick and tender medium-rare burger, doused in zingy horseradish mayo, I absolutely loved the County General's burger, easily giving it my "great burger" stamp of approval. Although their patio is small, and simply consists of a counter and some stools to sit at, I liked the casual feel of sitting on their patio, feeling the sun hit my face, and getting to people-watch along Queen West. 

Sukho Thai - Due for a date night dinner, my boyfriend Chris and I were interested to spice up our night by trying out one of the new Thai restaurants we have been hearing so much about lately. We decided to check out Sukho Thai on Wellington, grabbing the best seat in the house, right next to the big open window in the front, getting to enjoy the warm breeze on a beautiful Spring night. With so many delicious-sounding dishes, we ordered a couple of starters and mains, with a request for extra plates, so we could share and try more than just one dish each.

We started off with Shrimp Chips with Tamarind Dip and Mango Salad. The shrimp chips arrived in a massive heap, and were addictively tasty, with undertones of spice that lingered on the tongue. The mango salad was also very good (can you ever go wrong with mango salad?), with lots of fresh cilantro. For our mains we ordered Nua Gra Teaum: stir-fried garlic beef, served with a fried egg, cucumbers, and rice, reminiscent of Thailand street food, and Khao Soi: yellow noodles in curry gravy with green onions, coriander, chicken or beef (we chose chicken) and a light, crispy noodle topping. Although it looked incredibly appetizing with the soft-yolk fried egg on top, I have to say that we were a little disappointed with the Nua Gra Teaum. The Khao Soi made up for our disappointment with its complex curry, and interesting texture thanks to the both soft and crispy noodles. If you like spice but are nervous to go all out, just go for it, as the medium-spicy order was a little lacking in the heat department. I would also suggest ordering a side of steamed rice to sop up all of that delicious coconut curry. Both Chris and I are looking forward to going back to Sukho Thai, next time trying out some different spicy curries as well as some of their soups. 

DON'T FORGET TO VOTE for my kick ass Creamy Clam & Vegetable Chowder recipe for the Dairy Farmers of Canada Creamy Seafood Challenge!

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Listening To:
Daft Punk - Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams)

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