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Archive for August 22nd, 2011

I’ve been following a lot of blogs lately. I seem to have a had a bit of a obsession with Charles’s chutney (of Five Euro Food, check out his blog, great appetite appeal), and then there was Rufus’s peach and cherry bruschetta! Darn you…two, I had to ‘create’!
It’s peach season in Ontario, and on Sunday we drove down to the Niagara region (about 2 hours from our house in Toronto); fertile farms, gorgeous vineyards and lots of farmers markets!
We bought peaches. Unfortunately, our cherries were long gone,  so I had to revise my plan. I decided to make a simple peach chutney – delicate peach flavour, tart and sweet balsamic pairs perfectly with creamy cheeses ! I had some Canadian Brie on hand – got it on sale, not great taste, but with a little chutney, it would be wonderful and indeed it was!
Ok, now we need a baguette. Yes, normal people would say, let’s stop at one of our bakeries and get one, but, wait for it… I decided to make it myself! Now having said that, I just saw Manu’s kitchen referencing Not Quite Nigella‘s blog and a 60 minute baguette. Perfect. I used to make pretty good bread, until my hubby usurped my title of chief bread maker, I won’t get into it here, but let me say, I haven’t made bread in about 3 years! But 60 Minute baguette? I could do it, for sure. Or not. The flavour was definitively there, but the baguette, such a failure! I don’t think I kneaded it long enough, even though I it running in my kitchenaid with the bread hook for the allotted time.  Well, and it also could have been that I substituted 1/2 the flour for whole wheat which doesn’t have as much gluten in it. At any rate, the baguette was more of a bread roll…each roll remaining independent of the previous (I probably couldn’t achieve this on purpose if I had tried!). But the chutney was the star. Sorry about the baguette photos, they really are an insult. I will try again…soon.

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My Peach Chutney

Makes about 1 cup of chutney

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ontario fresh peaches (really, peaches from anywhere will do!), skinned, stone removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 Vidallia onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • splash of olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a splash of olive oil, sauté the onions until translucent, add the peaches.
  2. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top and sauté until you smell it.
  3. Add the balsamic and the molasses. Cook this down until the balsamic reduces to a syrup. I like a stiffer chutney, so I reduced it right down.
  4. Season to taste. Serve over room temperature Brie on lightly BBQ’d baguette (I took Rufus’s suggestion and BBQ the baguette WITH the brie to slightly melting). Top with your home made chutney and enjoy.

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After a grueling Saturday (we pulled out a 15+ year old Euonymous that took up about 10′ x 20′ in our front yard — we were quoted around $800 to remove!), we needed something restful to do – road trip. Sunday proved to be a dull and dreary day, with showers promised throughout, so we decided to head down to wine country and do some wondering and eating. It’s peach season in Ontario so, of course, we had to pick some up…and boy, are they GOOD! I love fresh, local fruit.

First, we headed down to Niagara Falls to check out Canada One Factory Outlets that was having a huge sale — a real dud! There was however a Coach store; I am not a fan, but I am consistently amazed at how many people are. They stand in line to pay $200 for a purse. Really? 90% aren’t even leather. And they have the Coach brand pasted all over them, so you not only pay an exorbitant price, you are a walking billboard. Insert Head scratching here.

Back to the day. Niagara was overcast, but great for driving. We took the scenic road to Port Dalhousie where we dined at one of our favourite restaurants, Treadwells. We’ve been a few times, and the owner always recognizes us.  We sat outside on their lovely patio, getting a few intermittent rays.

We started with the Charcuterie platter, which had local Prosciutto (very tasty), duck liver paté (which was more like a rilette), a couple of different salamis (local) then without thinking, we both ordered a meaty dish! I had the Steak Tartar and JT had the Croque-Monsieur.  Although we both found the charcuterie a bit on the pricey side ($20) it was plentiful and a nice variety of flavours. And supplied with enough bread. There were two sauces and a pickle, a roasted red pepper puré and a very nice apricot chutney. The pickle was a mustard-like sauce on very tiny blanched cauliflower. All three added a nice punch to the meat and paté. About the only thing neither of us was keen on was a pig cheek bacon — we both felt it should have been crispy, instead it was just greasy and sloppy. I’d order the charcuterie again, but perhaps following it with a salad next time, instead.

The Croque-Monsieur looked amazing and the thick cut fries were a true indulgence, unfortunately, my tartar was a bit gristly which kind of turned me off  (they immediately removed it from our bill). We enjoyed both with local wines. We were both too full for dessert.

Treadwells:

Overall rating (in my opinion): Decor 4/5 (they have a lovely patio along side a damned river. We were one of two couples and it was very private), service 4/5, food 4/5, Value 3/5, Noise: 4/5 (1 being very noisy, and 5 being very quiet).

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