Braised Sweet Chili Pork Chops w/ Curry-Coconut Rice…Cold winter days + spicy food=Winner!It was FREEZING and I was in the mood for something hot and delicious to warm my (our) tummy(ies), but didn’t have much going on in my fridge, except for a couple pork chops and some chilis. So I did what any chef would do when faced with hunger and limited ingredients; I got creative. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to drown food in spices or need a million and one different ingredients to make a tasty meal. I’ve always believed you should allow the food’s natural flavour to take centre stage, and whatever flavoring(s) or sides you add to it, should only enhance the flavour. Look at it this way, when you make/buy fried chicken, your initial plan is to eat chicken, not breadcrumbs with a hint of chicken but we’ll cover fried chicken another day J
All you need:
Rice: 1 cup basmati, 1 ½ tsp curry, 1 cup shredded coconut, ¾ cup finely chopped onions, 1tsp crushed garlic, 1 tblsp butter
Pork: Pork chops, 2 tsp crushed garlic, 2 tsp crushed ginger, 1 cup finely chopped onions, butter, 2 tsp sugar, and couple chopped chilli peppers (depending on how spicy you want it), ½ tsp cayenne pepper, ½ tsp paprika.
This dish is easy to prepare and great for those that have a tender tongue but love spicy food, as the coconut in the rice and the freshness of the salad, help to soften the spicy flavour. Have fun with the recipe!
- We had an amazing afternoon yesterday as HeyDoYou went out to C Lounge to support our friend Shannae of What Women Want who hosted a lovely afternoon of smiling, shopping & shmoozing at her event ‘Wine, Dine & Shop in a Dress’. We got the chance to meet and chat with some go-getter-girls like Kathleen & Michele of Brazen Hussy, Fitness Trainer Lyzabeth Lopez, Maria Serrano of Shoes From Argentina and Dee Bailey of Let’s Play Passion Parties. Thanks to Shannae for such an awesome event and bags full of awesome goodies!!!
- President’s Choice®1000 Tastes of Toronto™ was AWESOME!! There were sooooo many people there, and even more food vendors!!If you didn’t go this year, then I STRONGLY suggest you go next year. The food was prepared fresh right in front of you, and did I mention it was DELICIOUS!!Check out the pics!
- Central Waterfront (map)June 13th and 14th at noon“come down to the waterfront and experience the gastronomical grace that defines Toronto’s gourmet scene…“Food vouchers can be purchased on site.For more info click hereSee you there!xoxoBella ©
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“A cocktail is an example of one’s passion”- Frankie Solarik
Last night I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Brent Vanderveen and Frankie Solarik; owners of the stylish and sophisticated barchef. Located on vibrant Queen Street West at the corner of Queen and Augusta; it is the only cocktail-focused bar in Toronto! barchef came on the scene on December 9th, 2008 with cocktails from $8 to $45 and there all totally worth it!!
Visually, this place is a dream! You step into a dark room that’s brought to life by candle light, and the scent of fresh herbs, spices and caramelised fruits immediately captures you. The decor is simple, clean and classic and you can’t help but notice the colorful glow of the 50lb block of ice that’s sits atop the bar, as well as the mise en place of fresh ingredients. There’s an energy in the room that is indescribable… Frankie greets us with a smile, as he places a simple and elegant menu in front of us; “Time for some cocktails ladies?”
There are four categories to this exciting menu: Recession, Sweet, Sour and Molecular.
The Recession page, an “ode to a classic style, with a barchef twist” features a variety of $8 cocktails, and a disclaimer that warns: “Drinks back in the day were hardcore so please bear in mind that you will taste the booze”. This page rocks!!
The Sweet page features a number of sweet and tantalizing $12 cocktails as well as two award winning cocktails. The Rosemary Orange, a popular cocktail that consists of vanilla infused lemoncello, Amaro, fresh squeezed orange, lemon, muddled rosemary, rosemary syrup, rosemary, vanilla, and a cinnamon sugar rim! Another popular cocktail is the Barchef Rocket- Toronto’s Official Cocktail! This cocktail consists of Smirnoff raspberry, curacao, fresh lime, lemoncello, pomegranate aril, and an effervescent citric sugar rim! Mmm mmm GOOD! Now that’s how you put on for your city!
The Lavender Cosmo, which by the way is my new favourite cocktail can be found on the Sour page. It features fresh muddled cranberry, lavender, vodka, navan, fresh lime, cranberry, vanilla, effervescent and a sugar rim. The cocktails on this page will really bring your taste buds to life! With the Lavender Cosmo you first taste the sweet crunchy sugar on the rim, followed by the smooth and delicate vanilla foam, and lastly the cool refreshing taste of the cranberry, vodka and fresh lime! This is definitely one for the ladies! Frankie enjoys playing with both taste and texture, and this cocktail is loaded with both!
The cocktail of ALL cocktails can be found on the Molecular page; The Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan. If the name doesn’t get you, then the preparation will! This cocktail features vanilla and hickory smoked Crown Royal Extra Rare, fresh lemon, in-house cherry-vanilla bitter, hickory smoked syrup, and vanilla cognac. It’s $45 and is definitely worth every single penny! It’s sophisticated, savoury and smooth. This drink is for anyone that appreciates the finer things in life…
Interviewing Brent and Frankie was truly an amazing and inspiring experience. Frankie’s passion for cocktails is reflected in the menu, and is demonstrated in his cocktail preparation. His understanding of taste and how to pair ingredients to make unique and tasty cocktails is remarkable! He makes it a fun and interactive experience, answering questions from the mesmerized crowd all the while mixing, shaking, and even cooking! People whip out their cameras every time he makes the Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan; there’s smoke, there’s fire, it’s quite a show! When asked how he feels about this cocktail he responds, “it’s the epitome of what I can do as far as respecting the subtlety and complexity of a spirit”. Spoken like a true mixologist. Brent speaks passionately about the cocktail movement, about wanting to introduce Toronto to the cocktail culture. Brent wants to show Toronto something new and exciting, and I they’re doing just that!
Visit their website www.barcheftoronto.com for hours of operations and more info!
In the words of Brent Vanderveen, “Don’t do the regular, DO Barchef!”
If you’re looking for something fun and new to do tonight, DO Barchef! Every Thursday is Absinthe Thursdays!!
“We don’t want to market ourselves as untouchable. We want everyone to come to barchef, enjoy a few cocktails with a good crowd, and have a good time”– Brent Vanderveen.
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- I have to start off by saying that I’m super excited about joining heydoyou.com I’ve followed this blog for a while now, so I’m honoured to be the Food & Drink writer! It’s like destiny! Shout out to Yvonne, for this fun and exciting opportunity, we’re gonna take heydoyou.com to a whole new level! B’s in the building!!!I’ll be keeping you posted on all the delicious and exciting culinary and drink events that are happening all around this great city. Guides on the best patios in T.O. (I know it seems like summer will NEVER get here, but hang tight!) Weekly reviews on the best restaurants and bars in Toronto, mouthwatering recipes that ANYONE can make, and much more! When it comes to food and drink, I GOT YOU!
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