| 9 comments ]





Everyone loves a hiddem gem, and the harder to find the better.   Places like Hi Genki, Tenhachi, and Mochikas are really destination spots for those who do their research on the internet.  I like most people, enjoy showing a friend a place where it prompts them to ask where the hell are you taking me.

| 1 comments ]

If you came early to the Slop Press event at Walrus about a month back you may have picked up one of these handouts, "Time Of The Season: The Slop Press Guide To Seasonality In BC".  Sorry the resolution isn't the greatest on the jpg but if you want something to print out for your fridge you can download the pdf version here.

If you are unfamiliar with Carlo's work check out his website, www.carlobrito.com.  You have most likely seen his calendars hanging from your local design store, they are dope.


| 4 comments ]


The intense crunch of the bread is tearing the skin off the roof of my mouth, each bite a small exercise in pain.  It hurts, but it's a good hurt, because it's being chased by morsels of Italian sausage, well-heeled in spice, glimmers of fennel seed, with peppers, pickles and mayo to close out the show.  

It's one of the sandwich offerings at Big Lou's Butcher Shop, opened up by the same folks behind Two Chefs and a Table, just a block away.  This is a temple of meat, harkening back to the days before big box grocery shopping.  A wood cash register sits on the counter, an old tube radio behind, and soda crates on the shelves up top, all echoes of yesteryear, or so it seems: the crates are from Boylans, an iPod dock sits beside the radio, and I'm assuming the cash register is at least refurbished.  Similarly, the meats are from Polderside, Sloping Hills and other regional producers: old practices, new contexts.  It's the type of place that Meatpaper subscribers should flock to.     


Each sandwich is, unsurprisingly and unflinchlingly, about meat.  It's like the shop itself is being sold in small (or, in the case of these sandwiches, huge) packages, embodied between two pieces of bread.  A roast beef sandwich ($12) pulls no punches.  There is but one star, and it has been made in-house, seasoned with red wine, and served medium rare.  The pickles and mayo that it is served with almost seem unnecessary: balance is overrated, and we're jumping off into the deep end here.


The porchetta sandwich ($9) toes the same line.  It revels in all things porcine with bold emphasis, almost gamy, though the focus has swayed too far from the crackling, whose diminished presence is severely missed.  The chimmichurri sauce that it is decorated with has enough bite to distract, but it can't make up for that absence.  (The same type of oversight also detracts from the Italian sausage ($7.50), which can be overly arid for some.)  Big Lou's devotion to the flesh might be admirable to some, but it might end up as being too singular of mind for others.  Then again, it is a butcher shop.

| 1 comments ]


Everyone should have an amazing salad in their repertoire.  For you single bachelors, they say the way to a girl's heart is through the stomach so the way to a health conscious girl's heart is with a salad.   

When I went to Terroni's last year, the one thing that blew me away was the mushroom salad.  Longing to have it again, I took a few stabs at trying to re create it.  I added a few extra items to make the salad more colourful and to add enough extra things so it could replace a meal.

Mushroom Prosciutto Salad
  • 1 package Baby Arugula
  • 8 Oyster Mushrooms
  • 16 Grape Tomatoes
  • 150 g Canadian Prosciutto
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2  Lemon
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Parmesan Cheese (I just use that grated one that comes in a plastic container)
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar / Olive Oil Mixture
Mix together 1/2 lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar  (I do 3 parts to 1) in a bowl.   Set aside some as a dressing for the salad and the rest will be used for the tomatoes and mushrooms.

Tomatoes
Mix together balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Lay the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle the balsamic vinegar / olive oil mixture.
Bake for 20 mins at 425 F (You can make little slits in the tomatoes so they don't explode).
I find baking the tomatoes gives a much more pleasant texture and enhances the flavour.

Mushrooms
Crush the bread crumbs into fine pieces and mix with the parmesan cheese.
Slice the oyster mushrooms into equal pieces (as best you can).   Dip the mushroom pieces in the balsamic / olive oil mixture and the coat with the cheese/bread mixture.
Then place on a baking sheet.
Broil for about 8 mins or until mushrooms reach the desired texture.

Prosciutto
Place the prosciutto on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until the prosciutto gets crispy.  I use the cheaper Canadian / American prosciutto because I am baking it, I'll get the good stuff for my sandwiches.

Slice the red onion and cucumbers very thin and mix with the baby arugula.  Toss with the salad dressing in a bowl.  Plate with the mushrooms and prosciutto.  DONE!





Matt



| 5 comments ]




When I first started this blog a few years back, almost all of my meals came from a restaurant.   That statement is not one of regret as it gave me a good understanding of flavours, presentation and texture.  

Last year, I spent a little more time in the kitchen and this year my New Year's resolution is to completely step up my cooking game.  There are a few reasons for this change.  
  • I was spending around 800 dollars a month eating out and that was making it hard to save money.
  • Cooking is a great talent to have and it was getting embarrassing at times when the food blogger brought ice to the potluck.
  • I wanted to re create some of the dishes that I had a restaurants.
  • I used to be a farm consultant and it was sad to say that I knew about farming techniques but not cooking techniques.
  • I got a library of cook books that I need to start using.
  • The guy who doesn't cook always has to do dishes.
So, in future along with restaurant reviews you will start to see recipes on Vancouver Slop.   Some of them may be very elementary so please be tolerant when reading recipes of dishes that you have cooked a thousand times.  And if you have comments and/or suggestions please let me know as it will only help me get better. 

Time to make use of the Slop Press Apron.

Matt


  

| 2 comments ]

A Food reality series is looking for you.   "Recipe to Riches" is a new series that is offering 
Canadians with extraordinary recipes the opportunity to show off their unique culinary creations and vie for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to take their "Recipe" to "Riches." The innovative series is set to air on the Food Network Canada and Global, and will be hosted by Jesse Palmer.

When? 
- Open casting calls in Vancouver on Saturday, February 12, 2011
- 9am to 5pm at the the Hyatt Regency, 655 Burrard Street (downtown Vancouver)

Who?
- Anyone

How does it work?
  • Canada’s culinary gourmands can enter their finest recipes in one of seven categories ranging from appetizer to entrĂ©es to desserts
  • Canadians can vote online to determine the ultimate competition winner after watching on as participants compete within their gastronomic groups
What is the sweet prize for flavourful fare? 
The opportunity to see Canada’s favourite recipes developed into President’s Choice products sold at select grocery stores across the country. The winners of each culinary category also battle it out to win the ultimate grand prize of $250,000 – the largest cash prize in Canadian reality show history.

Auditions will also be held in three other Canadian cities, including Halifax, Toronto, and Montreal.

| 0 comments ]


We first visited La Ghianda at the tail end of December, when most people were still scrambling with Christmas shopping. The restaurant (a descriptor that seems overly formal for what it is) was busy with prep work for the day, and presumably for the evening over at La Quercia, its sister restaurant across the street. A small table hustled in the corner with their lunch, the rest of the small room was empty, but the place still had energy.

Fast forward a few weeks later, and I only wish I had taken more advantage of that time. Going to La Ghianda now will guarantee you a wait, particularly on the weekends, when families are out for lunch and not necessarily eager to give up their seat in what could be the most-desired, ultra-concentrated real estate in town. Depending on your level of patience, then,  La Ghianda will be either a restaurant or take-out joint.



In either case, you will be fed well. There is a rotating assortment of paninis (generally $10), most happily in the Italian delicatessen vein (think mortadella, provolone, salamis, etc), all the more to celebrate what seems like a current sandwich renaissance in the GVRD. They're entirely satisfying, though if you do get a seat, the ever-changing hot meal options - divided into the obligatory primi and secondi categories - are that much better. On our visits, gemelli ($10) was served in a light sausage ragu with peas, and a flat steak was expertly grilled, dressed with olive oil, fennel seed and served with arugula, both dishes of which were hearty without being overwhelming, subtle and confident.  Panini or entree, pair it with whatever sides ($6) are available: a broad bean and lentil salad reminded one that broad beans could be a main attraction all on its own, and a rustic tomato soup with bacon, beans and fennel had all the country comforts that one could hope for.  All in all, La Ghianda - which is only open during the day - gives great argument that the night time is not the only right time: the afternoon does, after all, have its place in the sun.

Joe.

La Ghianda
2083 Alma Street
Vancouver, BC V6R
(604) 566-9559
La Ghianda on Urbanspoon

| 5 comments ]


For most kids in North America, pizza becomes one of their favourite menu items.   Maybe because it is cheap, doesn't require utensils, and ideal for take out and delivery.  Or maybe because it tastes fantastic, greasy, and cheesy.  Either way pizza has always been one of my favourite foods and unfortunately for me it is now only commonly consumed after the bar for under 2 dollars.

I hate saying it but I love Pizza Hut. I like to re crisp the za in the oven so the pan crust is crunchier and oh so much better.  It tastes like the little pan pizzas that you get as a kid.

But when I want something different than the greasy pizza from Pizza Hut, I ll make a drive to Ragazzi Pizza in East Vancouver for some thin crust pizza.  The dough is hand stretched, stone baked and layered with toppings.   At Ragazzi the toppings steal the show.  The fresh ingredients stacked with the crust create a magical combination that will blow you away.  

If you are a pizza lover and you haven't tried this spot out then you need to make a journey over to Ragazzi to have a pizza.  I know half the time when you order pizza it is out of convenience but drive a little farther and pay a little more and get yourself a pizza from Ragazzi.

Ragazzi Pizza Co.
2996 E 22nd Ave
Vancouver, BC
604.433.2235
Ragazzi Pizza Co on Urbanspoon

And their website says there is another one
Ragazzi Mobile Pizzeria
400 Burrard Street
604.377.9797
www.ragazzipizza.com

PS Sorry about the White Balance.