Good Friday Shrimp Scampi

Good Friday Shrimp Scampi – Candy Coated Culinista

A beautiful dishes that is perfect for Good Friday if you are off meat for the day like myself.

Yield/Serving: 4-5
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ small white onion, diced
• ½ bulb of garlic, finely chopped
• Shrimp, 40 pieces of smaller sized shrimp
• sea salt, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• paprika, to taste
• spaghetti, 2” circumference of pasta
• pasta sauce with basil
• 2 handfuls of spinach, stems cut
• ¼ green pepper, diced
• ½ small red inion, diced
• Tomato, cut into chunks
• Dried oregano, to taste
• Dried basil, to taste
• Crushed red pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, sauté white onion and garlic along with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil for a few minutes.
2. Boil a large pot of water with a little oil and salt over high heat.
3. Using the same frying pan add the shrimp and season with sea salt, pepper and paprika and cook.
4. Once water is boiling add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
5. Drain pasta and coat with pasta sauce.
6. Add spinach, green pepper, red onion, tomato, dried oregano, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes; along with shrimp and garlic mixture and incorporate.
7. Serve

Tips
• Add 2 pieces of bacon cut into pieces if this isn’t for Good Friday and you eat meat.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This recipe was made with everything on hand in my fridge with no pre-planning or for-thought and it turned out wonderfully. This it will be perfect for Good Friday and I can’t wait to make it again next week.

Kale Caesar Salad

Kale Caesar Salad - Candy Coated Culinista

Kale Caesar Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

This twist on a Caesar salad is my new favourite way to enjoy Caesar salad. Robust and hearty kale being incorporated into this classic is delicious.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
• 6 kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
• Spinach, big handful chopped
• 4 slices of bacon, cooked crispy & crumbled
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
• Caesar salad dressing
• 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese
• 1 cup croutons

Assembly
1. Chop romaine, kale and spinach leaves and put into a bowl.
2. Using a frying pan, fry bacon until crispy and then crumble.
3. Using the same oil from the bacon, quickly fry the minced garlic and add to another bowl.
4. Finely chop the anchovies and add to the small bowl along with salad dressing and mix.
5. Shred mozzarella cheese and add to the bowl of lettuce along with parmesan cheese and croutons.
6. Mix well and serve.

Tips
• Make the dressing by hand if you like; but I decided not to as I had time restraints.
• Make into a chicken Caesar salad by adding grilled chicken breast into the salad.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This salad was enjoyed by my taste testers. I managed to turn people who claim to hate anchovy’s and kale into a lover. Granted the moment I mentioned there were whole anchovy fillets in the salad some stopped. My point was still proven and I arrested my case. I have made this salad three times already in 2 weeks; even once as a chicken Caesar salad.

Avocado Buns ….. What in the world!

Avocado Bun  - Candy Coated Culinista

Avocado Bun – Candy Coated Culinista

Has the mighty avocado just jumped the shark? I saw the weirdest thing the other day which is all the buzz and the latest fad. Avocados are now being used as a substitute for a bun; hmmm, now I love avocado and can have one every day but as a bun? This is a great gluten free option; but lets get real here it is not a burger bun. It looks visually striking and interesting but this can only be just a fad right? I did a few food experiments to see if this is a viable option.
Here are some of my test recipes.

Smoked Salmon on a Sesame seeds Avocado Bun

Ingredients
• Avocado, cut in half and skinned peeled away also slice a piece off the bottom bun so it won’t tip
• Tomato slice
• Spinach
• Smoked salmon
• Red onion, sliced
• Sesame seeds, sprinkled on top of avocado
• Olives, top of the avocado bun
• Sweet pickles, top of the avocado bun

Assembly
1. Top ingredients on to avocado and serve.

Bacon & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients
• Avocado, cut in half and skinned peeled away also slice a piece off the bottom bun so it won’t tip
• Sharp cheddar cheese, sliced
• Green bell pepper, sliced
• Bacon
• Fried, slightly runny
• Poppy seeds, sprinkled on top of avocado

Assembly
1. Top ingredients on to avocado and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Both these were delicious; but to me nothing beats eating an avocado with a little salt and lemon cut in half and using the shell as a bowl. Sometimes simplicity is the best and honestly you can’t eat this like a true burger with an avocado bun; unless you’re used to eating your burgers with a knife and fork regularly. I may secretly enjoy this at home deconstructed or when I just don’t want a bun; but to truly use the avocado like a bun is near impossible. It’s still delicious but very impractical as a bun and calling this a bun is an enormous stretch to say the least.

Avocado Bun  - Candy Coated Culinista

Avocado Bun – Candy Coated Culinista

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been wanting to try the Fish & Chips from Len Duckworth’s Fish & Chips; as this has been recommended to be numerous times is a Toronto Foodie institution if you will. I’ve had a bad experience with fish & chips from Pickle Barrel and ever since I just haven’t had the desire to have anythimg resembling deep-fried fish. I found it to be extremely greasy and the batter didn’t stick to the fish so I just never wanted to try it again. Then I found saw this recipe and with fresh fish in hand I thought I’d give it another go and make sure I visit Duckworth in the near future.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
Oven Fries
• 2 small yellow potatoes, cut into wedges with skin on
• 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of ground black pepper
Crispy Tilapia
• 2 tbsp cornmeal
• ¾ tsp chili powder
• ¾ tsp dried parsley
• 2 tilapia fillets
• 1/8 tsp kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Lemon-Herb Mayo
• 2 ¾ tsp mayonnaise
• 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• ½ garlic clove, finely grated

Assembly
Oven fries
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Toss potatoes, salt & pepper in a small bowl with extra virgin olive oil.
3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, turning once and bake for 25 minutes until golden and tender.
Crispy Tilapia
1. In a plate mix the cornmeal, chili powder and parsley.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto fish and dredge in the cornmeal mixture.
3. Using a frying pan, heat half the oil over medium heat.
4. Cook tilapia turning once until fish is cooked, about 8 minutes.

Lemon-Herb Mayo
1. In a small prep bowl mix the mayo, parsley, lemon juice and garlic.
2. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a light and slightly healthier fried fish option and the fish didn’t taste fishy and was still flakey. The lemon-herb mayo was such a great addition and this will be my new tartar sauce.

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche  - Candy Coated Culinista

Tilapia Stuffed Avocado Mock Ceviche – Candy Coated Culinista

This is a recipe I made on Good Friday as this is a fish eating day for me. I wanted to make a classy dish that could also make for brunch or lunch and I think this recipe fits the bill.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 1o min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Tilapia
• 2 tilapia fillets
• Season salt
• Black pepper
• Dried basil
• Curry powder, pinch
• Cayenne Pepper, pinch
• Smoke paprika, pinch
Ceviche
• 2 large avocados
• Parsley leaves, minced
• Yellow pepper, diced
• Red onion, diced
• Celery, diced
• 1 lime, freshly squeezed

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season tilapia with season salt, black pepper, basil, curry powder, cayenne powder and smoke paprika.
3. Place on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and set aside.
5. In a medium sized bowl add the diced and minced parsley, yellow pepper, red onion, celery and squeeze lime overtop and mix.
6. Set aside.
7. When the fish is cooked, break apart one of the fish and add to the ceviche and mix.
8. Scoop mock ceviche mixture into the centre of the avocado.
9. Cut the second piece of tilapia down the spine and plate a portion for both plates.
10. Serve

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I am a big fan of this recipe. I could probably be a true ceviche recipe; but the only food I have ventured into raw is sushi so far and ceviche and tartare’s just haven’t made it in my list yet. This recipe is light and very flavourful as the tilapia can hold up to the spices on the fish and the burst of citrus with the crunchy vegetables is a hit I my books.

Food Diaries: Front Street Foods

Frisco Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Frisco Fries – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: Union Station (65 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario (Between Bay St. & York St.)
Hours: July 6 – September 27, 2015- Monday – Friday: 7am – 9pm, Saturday: 11am – 9pm, Sunday: 11am – 6:30 pm

This summer the newly renovated Union station has been home to Front Street Foods – a culinary market showcasing some of the best foods from chefs, restaurants, food entrepreneurs offering delectable edibles. I have walked by and through numerous times now and finally thought I should actually try something. There are plenty of seats and live music is played at lunch time to make your visit more welcoming.
After tasting the Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli from Jake’s Lobster at the CNE I found out that Fresh off the Boat also offered a dish called Frisco Fries. Now to me these two dishes looked exactly the same visually and the price was the same at $10.

This review is a little hard for me as I always find the good in a bad situation at least in one aspect; but my review of these fries were they were just ok. I went just before the lunch rush 11:30am on a Friday and upon receipt of my Frisco Fries I could see there were less whole pieces of crab; but if it still taste good that’s fine and I’d still be happy. Upon consumption I found the fries to not be seasoned and my order was all the small end fries (like the bottom of a batch) I’m not sure if they use smaller fries but in any event all those tiny fries just wouldn’t make sense. The fries as a whole were definitely greasier and I didn’t want to finish it my order. As for the garlic aioli; it was good but there wasn’t enough dill also. For the $10 the portion was bigger but the ratio of crab to fries was off in my opinion.

Now all this being said I think I will visit the brick and motar store and maybe try the fries again and order something else because I always give people and things a second try probably to my detriment but that’s just who I am. I do have my eye on their Mediterranean Shrimp Sandwich or the FU-Schnicken and i’d really like to give those a try.

Other vendors here are: Mad Mexican, CC On front, Caplansky’s, Helluva Falafel, Kupfert & Kim, Little Fin, Republica Sandwhiches, Chocosol, Bacon nation, Come and Get It, Drink Inc., Loaded Pierogi, Holy Chuck burger, Pancho’s Bakery, Hula Girl Espresso, Jedd’s Frozen Custard, Jamie’s Cracked Corn, Station Cold Brew Co., Pekoe Kombucha Bar, Hotbunzz Street Cusinine, Uncle Tetsu, The Mighty Cob, Miche Bakery (July/ August Only), YOLO T.O. (July/ August Only), Toben Food By Design (July/ August Only), Cava Sur (July/ August Only), Greenhouse Juice Co. (July/ August Only), Small Batch Co. (July/ August Only), Wanna Banana (July/ August Only), Fred’s Bread, Eative, Nisos Importing

Fresh Off The Boat - Candy Coated Culinista

Fresh Off The Boat – Candy Coated Culinista

CNE 2015 & Food Truck Frenzy

Bacon Nation - Slaw Dog Millionaire - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Slaw Dog Millionaire – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s that time of year again; and as fast as the CNE arrives it means summer is almost over; but I get to try some of those crazy CNE foods and enjoy the Food Truck Frenzy once again. This year I found a sneak peak listing of the new and interesting foods available this year and some of the must tries on the list were: Cake Poutine, Chicken & Waffles on a Stick, Poutine Balls, Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese, Red Velvet Oreos, Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli, Timbit Poutine, Deep fried Cheesecake and Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick. I really wanted to taste the Frosted flake Chicken as that is my favourite cereal; but I decided not to this time around.

I went two times again this year the CNE to spread out my food consumption: once to try the CNE foods and then back for the Food Truck Frenzy with my girls. Here is a quick rundown of the foods I tried or got reviews from other tester I went with. I ate so much at the food Truck Frenzy it was criminal and I really don’t know how I managed to pack all that away and not be in a food coma.

Garlic Snow Crab Fries with Garlic Aioli – Jack’s Lobster (Food Building) – $10
Jake’s Lobster in the Food Building was serving up snow crab over fresh cut fries and garnished with garlic aioli and fresh herbs and topped with a lemon wedge. This was one of the food items on the top of my list and it was delicious. The potion size was a little small and I could have eaten two easy; but it was delicious. The ratio of seafood to fries was bang on. I appreciated seeing some crab legs and the fries were perfectly salted. I would eat this again and again and will try to make this at home.

Cake Poutine – Culinary student from Humber College (Direct Energy Building) – $5
The cake fries are made from a rich vanilla bean infused cake and lathered in warm chocolate, caramel or strawberry sauce. Bacon bits, marshmallows, strawberries and maple syrup are just some of the toppings. I had the O’ Canada Cake Poutine which was vanilla cake fries, strawberry sauce and white chocolate chips. This was a must try for me as I had to support these two ladies who created the booth that were from my Alma Mata Humber College. The cake was dense but soft and held up to the sauce. I enjoyed this a lot and it was a creative spin on a Canadian classic. I even took a little home as I was beyond full at the end of the night.

Chicken & Waffles on a Stick $8
It’s like a corndog but with the hog dog replaced with the chicken and the cornbread casing is now a waffle batter. I was told it was overrated and I still really wanted to try it but I couldn’t find the booth.

Bacon wrapped Grilled Cheese – Bacon Nation (Food Building) – $10
Bacon wrapped cheddar & mozzarella sandwich served with special ketchup. A review of this sandwich was it was overpriced and shrunk a lot upon cooking and the bacon wasn’t crispy; which defeats the purpose as how can you eat a sandwich wrapped in bacon and chew through it with chewy bacon. I believe this was an opening problem as when I saw pictures as the days passed the grilled cheese started having a crispier bacon covering.

Red Velvet Oreos –3 for $8
Double stuffed Oreos dipped in red velvet batter and deep fried; dusted with confectioners’ sugar and cream cheese icing. A common review I heard was it was little pricy and wasn’t necessarily worth the price; which makes sense but you are buying this for the novelty of it.

Deep Fried Cheesecake – Pickle Pete’s -$7
A New York style cheesecake wrapped in a tortilla and deep fried and served with cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup on top. This was recommended to me to give a try as it was surprisingly light; but I am not a cheesecake lover.

Food Truck Frenzy

This year there seemed to be a Beer Event being held within the Food Truck Frenzy and there were beer pairings offered for foods from the trucks. I personally wasn’t a fan of this as I don’t drink beer and then all of the trucks didn’t offer drinks this year. My only option was to go to the Coca Cola stand to buy Coke products. I don’t drink pop or caffeine either so I had to wait until I found my lemonade vendor as I know they are always in the Direct Energy Building. I will say I wasn’t the only one to complain. I heard many complaints and surprisingly men to were at the top of this list to air their feelings.

Slaw Dog Millionaire – Bacon Nation – $12
Bacon wrapped hot dog with apple slaw. I never eat hot dogs and when I do they are always chicken hot dogs so this was a great change for me. I loved the saltiness of the hot dog and the crunch of the slaw.

Apple Porkfection – Bacon Nation – $12
Pulled Pork, bacon strips, apple slaw on a bacon bun. This was sweet and salty the perfect combination.

Athens Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $9

Feta, Tzatziki & gravy. I’m a sucker for a poutine without the cheese curds. I couldn’t finish this and had to share. The tzatziki is the best I’ve ever had as it was thicker, creamier and more complex. I’m not sure what they did to it but it was amazing. I would go back and buy and container if that was possible.

Feta Fries – Pappas Greek “on wheels” – $8
Just like the Athens Fries minus the gravy. I preferred my version better; but this was still amazing and the owners were so polite.

The Lumberjack – Gorilla Cheese – $10
Bacon, granny smith apple, maple syrup, aged cheddar. A sweet and salty combo that was very satisfying and worth every penny.

Shawarma Bombs – Gourmet Guyz – $7
Tabbouleh, rice and chicken wrapped inside a wonton wrapper served with dipping sauce. This was one of the more inventive food options at the food truck frenzy.

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – $3.50
A must have for me. This time I had a cherry lemonade a favourite flavour of mine. It’s never too sweet and the perfect refreshing palate cleansing drink.

Like usual I had an excellent food adventure and everything I tasted was delicious. This year I noticed those ingredients that Canadians love being: poutine, gravy, cheese bacon were available at every food truck and I’m not complaining, were in Canada eh!

Bacon Nation - Apple Porkfection - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Apple Porkfection – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven - Cherry Lemonade - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Heaven – Cherry Lemonade – Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine - O' Canada - Candy Coated Culinista

Cake Poutine – O’ Canada – Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz - Sharwarma Bombs - Candy Coated Culinista

Gourmet Guyz – Sharwarma Bombs – Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek - Athens Fries & Feta Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Athens Fries & Feta Fries – Candy Coated Culinista


Pappas Greek - Candy Coated Culinista

Pappas Greek – Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese - Lumberjack - Candy Coated Culinista

Gorilla Cheese – Lumberjack – Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation - Candy Coated Culinista

Bacon Nation – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy - Candy Coated Culinista

Food Truck Frenzy – Candy Coated Culinista

T.O. Food Fest 2014

T.O. Food Fest - Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

T.O. Food Fest – Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Date: Sunday August 11th 2014
Place: Chinese Cultural Center, Scarborough, Ontario
Website: http://www.tofoodfest.com

For a third year I was invited as media to attend the T.O. Food Fest. This year there was a nominal fee to attend of two dollars or bring a non-perishable food item, as they were teaming up with Second Harvest. I loved this idea so much. So many people are attending this event to eat and gorge themselves, why can’t we then in turn bring some canned goods in for the less fortunate. I happily brought mine and picked up my media pass.

The Food

When I was checking out the vendors I noticed many repeat vendors; which is always a good sign like: Babi and Co., Bricks & Mortar, Buster’s Sea Cove Food Truck, Dutch Frites, Gala’s Peppersauce, Ice volcano Ice Cream, Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ and Lemonade.

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ
Website: http://www.hawaiianbarbeque.ca
Served here today was pork skewers, pineapple soda and pulled pork on a bun. They were grilling on a large BBQ and it smelt and looked delicious. A secret BBQ recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation is used on the meat. No shortcuts are made as they want a quality dish sent out every time.

For the first time I tried the pork skewers and yum. There really isn’t a part of the pig I don’t like and this was perfectly barbequed with a cube of pineapple on top of the skewers. The stand is hard to miss as it looks like a tiki hut with lei’s and Hawaiian hibiscus shirts/dresses and bright yellow tee shirts are all around.

New Vendors for 2014

Blue Donkey
Greek – Canadian street food like calamari, souvlaki, gyro sliders, feta fries. I enjoyed their feta fries last year at the CNE Food Truck Frenzy.

Hot Bunzz
Website: http://www.hotbunzz.com
Oven baked brioche-style buns stuffed with international flavours, catering is available for any event. On the menu today was: Surf & Turf, St. Lucia Jerk Wild Boar, Buddah’s Bacon Butter Chicken, Ontario 5-Cheese, Mushroom & Spinach

Island Oysters Shuck Bar
Island Oysters started 2 years ago and can be typically found at farmers markets in the G.T.A.
Kusshi – British Columbia, Il de Magdalen – Ontario & Little Neck Clams – PEI. Two types of hot sauce were for sale – Habanero Xtra hot sauce and Jalapeno Xtra hot sauce.

Kanto by Tita fl!ps
Website: http://www.kanto.ca
A soon as I saw Tita I knew I was in for some Filipino food. Today they were serving
Palabok – Cornstarch noodles in shrimp gravy topped with hard-boiled eggs, shrimp, crushed pork rinds, tofu and green onions; SigSig – Fries Pork jowl and ear with french fries and Halo Halo – a dessert with an assortment of fruits, sweet vegetables, ice cream etc. These dishes looked so delicious, but I couldn’t eat everything I will be visiting storefront as I have to try the sigsig fries and hopefully find some tocino or lumpia there.

Korribbean
Two cultures wrapped into one delicious jumbo dumpling. The husband is from Trinidad and the wife is Korean. The jumbo dumplings served are made from 100% local organic beef, pork & chicken
The menu included -Classic (beef & pork), Jerk (beef & pork) Curry Chicken (Chicken) , Curry Potato (Vegetarian) which is served with a side of pineapple coleslaw and soy sauce or mango chutney dipping sauce. I tried the Koribbean iced tea (Sorrel) as I couldn’t resist this as Sorrel always reminds me of Christmas. It wasn’t too sweet and quite refreshing.

Meatwagon
Website: http://www.meaventures.com
Meat, meat and more meat, a carnivore’s paradise: Flavours from around the world are found here. There was bacon brulee & tocino sliders & Korean pork belly, which had me looking for the Filipino running the show and I was correct the owner is Canadian with Filipino and Iranian parents.

Mon K Patisserie
Baked treats that are not commonly found in Toronto are served here. Its French treats with an Asian twist. I of course bought Macarons and had the Cassis, Earl Grey, Banana Chocolate, Green Tea, Raspberry and Salt Caramel. Not too sweet and quite yummy and I even shared with the hubby.

Moo Milk Bar
Website: http://www.moomilkbar.ca
A milk & cookies bakery. Today there was a selection of their yummy cookies and cookie mix in a jar. I haven’t had a flavour I disliked yet from Moo Milk to date.

Penny Lou Lou Sweets & Treats
Website: http://www.pennyloulou.com
A cute and exciting, yet simple twist to the dessert scene and items on the menu all contain the word “Penny” in it. The food is Hong Kong style bubble cake – that has a crispy, golden-brown outer shell, and a soft and chewy center. The bubble cake is used to create, sammies, cake with fruit or nutella, cake wraps with a filling inside, and even filled with chicken and vegetable for a more savoury treat.

Pimenton
Websitehttp://www.pimenton.ca
Spanish & Mediterranean Fine Food like chicken paella with saffron, chicken & seafood.

Pure Leaf Tea
Websitehttp://www.pureleaftea.ca
Simple pure & uncomplicated iced tea with no preservatives, no added color and no artificial flavouring. It’s just real-brewed tea made from tea leaves picked fresh from the best plantations around the world.

The Saucy Pierogi
Website: http://www.saucypierogi.com
A pop up vendor serving pan fried Pierogi’s with a twist. I have only had pierogi’s two times before, one frozen from the grocers and another at a wedding as Hors d’oeuvres. These were how I think they should taste, fresh, not to doughy and with great toppings. On the menu was Jerk Chicken Pierogi’s with Jerk sauce & slaw, Cheddar & Potato Pierogie’s, Kimchi Sauerkrat Pierogie’s topped with Kimchi, Pork Schnitzel Plate with garlic mash & sauerkraut slow.

Stuffed & Co.
Stuffed chicken wings… yes please. How can a person resist with such an interesting idea. I have only heard of stuff wings one other place and that’s out of North Carolina with the 2 fat 2 fly stuffed chicken wings. Today there was Cheesy Mac, Wonton Bomb & Yaya Wing which I tasted it had jambalaya filling with sriracha aioli & creole seasoning. I choose the Yaya Wing as it was a limited flavour and it wasn’t spicy and it was well balanced.

Sweet Pop – Gourmet Dessert Popcorn
Website: http://www.sweetpopgourmet.com
A two month old business that came upon by just saying: “let’s just do this and see what happens.”
With a long time baker at the helm cookies & cream, s’mores and birthday cake gourmet popcorn is being sold. The popcorn was sweet and not soggy and was the perfect sweet pop in my mouth. (I also tasted leaps and bounds better then the chocolate coated popcorn I attempted to make for Valentine’s Day. It is definitely harder than it looks)

Vegiterra – Worldy Vegan Flavours
Website: http://www.vegiterra.com
Upon reading the name I think vegan, vegetarian and of the earth. This is a pop up vegan restaurant that began as a food, travel & culture blog. They offer flavours inspired by their travels, lifestyles and things of interest. Peanut Stew Empanada, Crispy Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Yam Burger, Jhal Muri, Lemongrass Basil Juice & Jasmine Coconut Iced Tea was served today.

Other vendor today were: Twisted, Toben – food by design, Best Gushi Chicken, BBQ Squid, Hakka Bao, Asian Sliders, Grilled Mini Eggs and Snow Ice.

I had another great year at the T.O. Food Fest and spoke to some great vendors with some very tasty and interesting foods. Every year this event is running more and more smoothly and it’s great to see that the organizers are learning ever year and making the T.O. Food Fest a better experience fro all. I can’t what to taste some more foods next year.

Pimeton - Candy Coated Culinista

Pimeton – Candy Coated Culinista

Liko's Hawaiian BBQ - Candy Coated Culinista

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ – Candy Coated Culinista

The Saucy Pierogi - Candy Coated Culinista

The Saucy Pierogi – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista


Koribbean Dumplings  - Candy Coated Culinista

Koribbean Dumplings – Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto - Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto – Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto - Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted - Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted – Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted - Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted – Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oysters Shuck Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oysters Shuck Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

Gala's Peppersauce - Candy Coated Culinista

Gala’s Peppersauce – Candy Coated Culinista

Little Tomato Catering - Candy Coated Culinista

Little Tomato Catering – Candy Coated Culinista

Pure Leaf Iced Tea - Candy Coated Culinista

Pure Leaf Iced Tea – Candy Coated Culinista

Bricks & Mortar - Candy Coated Culinista

Bricks & Mortar – Candy Coated Culinista

Mama K Satay - Candy Coated Culinista

Mama K Satay – Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki - Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki – Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki - Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki – Candy Coated Culinista

Meatwagon - Candy Coated Culinista

Meatwagon – Candy Coated Culinista

Hot Bunzz - Candy Coated Culinista

Hot Bunzz – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites - Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites – Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites - Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites – Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites - Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Pop - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Pop – Candy Coated Culinista


Mom K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mom K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Mom K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mom K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oyster Shuck Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oyster Shuck Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee & Saltfish - Candy Coated Culinista

Ackee & Saltfish – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s almost Good Friday and that means one thing, no meat. I always try to have 2 to 3 dishes on hand for the day and will make a shrimp fried rice, buy vegetable lasagna and of course make ackee and saltfish. Ackee is a fruit that is found in parts of the West Indies along with West Africa. It can be poisonous if the fruit is picked too early and is unripened, so naturally I always purchase my ackee canned to ensure I don’t get sick; but I have heard stories of people picking the fruit to early and getting sick. Don’t let this deter you as this is a great dish if you want to try something ethnic and culturally inspired.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 1/3 lb saltfish (salted cod) – boneless/skinless
• 4 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion sliced
• 2 green onion
• ½ medium red pepper, chopped long and thin
• ½ medium green pepper, chopped long and thin
• 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 medium tomato cubed
• 1 can ackee (use fresh if you have – about 2 cups)
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• Fresh thyme (couple sprigs)

Tips
• Purchase canned ackee & saltfish from a West Indian store.
• Do not overwork the ackee, or it will before mushy. Try to get the look of fluffy scrambled eggs
• Add the garlic last as to not overcook them.
• You can serve it with Johnny cakes, boiled green banana or any other bread kind, or just some hard dough bread. I like it by itself personally.

Assembly/Method
1. Boil saltfish in a pot for 20 minutes at a simmer. Repeat 3 times to get some of the salt out of the fish.
2. Drain and rinse under cool water and break apart into flaky pieces. Set aside on a plate.
3. Sauté the onions, green onions, red pepper, green pepper, habenero pepper for 5 minutes in olive oil.
4. Add the garlic and the tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes.
5. Now add the saltfish and allow to sauté briefly.
6. Finally add the ackee that has been drained from the tin. It will take a couple of minutes for it to heat through and gently toss the ackee, to ensure not to destroy it.
7. Add ground black pepper & fresh thyme and serve.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
I made a big portion and gave some to my Jamaican co-worker and she liked it and said I did a great job for my first attempt. But of course she’d like more spice. The funny thing was I add more spice to her batch but it still wasn’t enough. Mr. C. on the other hand is no fan; it’s the texture of the ackee that he doesn’t like.

My thoughts
This is a recipe I grew up with and looked forward to having every Good Friday and now that I am making it myself I feel nostalgic every time.

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia with Shrimp

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia with Shrimp - Candy Coated Culinista

Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia with Shrimp – Candy Coated Culinista

Black pasta, is there such as thing? Cuttlefish has ink? Who knew is what went through my mind when I saw a commercial for Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia with Clams. I thought the idea of black pasta was kind of cool and then I learned that ink in sea creatures doesn’t only come from cephalopods but other sea creatures like the cuttlefish can create ink. Well didn’t a 30 seconds commercial teach me a lot.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 onion diced
• Red pepper, diced
• Yellow pepper, diced
• Orange pepper, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• ½ tsp salt crushed red pepper flakes
• ¾ cup pitted kalamata olives
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 349g (1 ½ cups) shrimp, thawed with tails left on
• 750g Nero Di Seppia Spaghetti
• ½ cup parsley, chopped
• Parmesan cheese, to taste

Assembly
1. Set a large pot of salted water with a little vegetable oil to a boil.
2. In a frying pan with olive oil on medium-high heat and add onions, peppers, garlic, spices and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add in olives and garlic and continue cooking for a 2 minutes.
4. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then add shrimp cover and cook until shrimp are cooked through thoroughly and remove from heat.
5. Once water is boiling place pasta in and cook until al dente; drain in a colander.
6. Combine the shrimp with the pasta in a platter and sprinkle parsley and parmesan cheese over top.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“The pasta was delicious; the shrimp was cooked perfectly although I would have preferred if it had been shelled. Loved the seasoning and the wine sauce was great as well. The veggies weren’t too soft and were just the right firmness too and added great flavour to it.”

My thoughts
Delicious and I felt quite “chefy” making this dish. It’s simple, but eye-catching and I got to practice my knife skills with my new J.A. Henckels Professional Knife set. Man are these knives sharp, I already took out a piece of my finger nail when the knife jumped within the first few days of having this set. 90% of my vegetables were all the same size as I am getting better, but uniformity adds to my prep time for sure. The wine sauce was delicious and the shrimp was perfectly cooked. Next time I will try it with clams, as Mr. C. loves his molluscs. I think i’ll take a walk down to St. Lawrence Market and get some fresh seafood.

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