whiskey

Around the World (almost) in 80 Days

I have slacked in my posting because I have been traveling like a freak.

Dublin:

Best food is good pub food. Best pub food is at The Black Sheep. Best pub is known as the Gravedigger’s.  Its official name is John Kavanagh’s.  It is worth the taxi, and I won’t say any more. Just go. Best whiskey: Yellow Spot (I know, the name is very, very, silly).

London:

Things I never imagined saying:

  1. Food in London is amazing.
  2. Forget the rest of the list. Did you read #1?

Ottolenghi alone is reason to visit my new “one of my favourite cities” city.

Who could resist salads that are the perfect balance of fresh and satisfying, and fresh, delicious baked goods? I have never managed to taste a main dish at the Ottolengi stores, since I cannot resist the veggies and desserts, but they look yummy.

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Lunch at Nopi turned into an all-afternoon affair, followed by a nap. It just doesn’t get better than that!

Oh, where do I start?

Sumac Martini, Rooibos Old Fashioned…how can anything be bad?

Twice cooked chicken with lemon myrtle salt, chili sauce

Twice cooked chicken with lemon myrtle salt, chili sauce

Burrata, Miyagawa, fennel and coriander seeds

Burrata, Miyagawa, fennel and coriander seeds

Sticky rice, brown coconut jam, carmelized banana

Sticky rice, brown coconut jam, carmelized banana

Haute Indian at Amaya was delicious, but the service was…weird. Go, but wear clothes you don’t mind getting smelly, and ignore the cold wait-staff.

I never knew Chinese food could be as delicate and perfect as it is, table after table, at Hakkasan. Go – you will be happy. Make sure to have the tofu with crunchy bits – I can’t remember exactly what it is called, but it is a favourite there.

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The Clove Club was a great find in Shoreditch, the best area for street art in the city.  A fried chicken amuse-bouche was nestled on fir branches, dusted with ground fir… yummy. Inventive and delicious. They have a great collection of cookbooks, and for sure they use Tartine – the bread was perfect.

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Tel Aviv:

Young and fun staff, fresh flavours, great wines at HaShulchan (The Table). Be sure to order a bottle of Sphera wine – it is really surprising.

Zepra and Messa are both delicious, but expensive (as in, really). The people watching is also excellent.

Durham, North Carolina:

The Q Shack may make the best barbeque sauce I have ever tasted. Ditto the baked beans, and mac and cheese.  Everything, actually.

Back home, we finally tried Dinette Triple Crown. What a concept!  The 7 seats at the counter are ok, but the fun thing to do is get a picnic basket (complete with table cloth and lantern at night), and (weather permitting) sit in the park across the street.  I am still drooling thinking of the brisket sandwich. The big nasty is…oh, try it. They do baskets for pickup all winter…and they deliver!

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Gone fishin’…..Sorta.

I’m waving my “I’m Canadian so I don’t hate winter” flag. ENOUGH.

But hey, or rather “eh”, since I am Canadian, and I want spring, maple is on my mind.  Spotting one last piece of salmon in the freezer, I scrapped my plan for tea-smoked salmon and try a whiskey-maple marinade.  Please note this was no grocery-store salmon….it was caught by my “boys” at Bones Bay Lodge in Knight’s Inlet British Columbia.  If you want a FABULOUS fishing experience, give them a call. Back to the recipe…..As if the whiskey wasn’t woody enough, I decided to put it on a cedar plank on the grill.  But alas, I was out of planks. All I found was a package of cedar wrappers that I thought were too silly to work. Surprise – they worked, were super easy to deal with, and will be starring at many of my summer dinner parties!

Here’s the recipe (exact measures are not necessary)…

1 cup whisky

½ cup maple syrup

1/3 cup soy sauce

splash of Olive oil

a handful of chopped parsley

3 tbs. Asian sweet or regular chili sauce

freshly ground pepper

Salmon – I used 8 fillets and had a lot of marinade left over

Marinate the fish for about 30 minutes.

Soak the cedar wrapping sheets for 10 minutes.

Remove the fish from marinade (discard marinade please). Wrap the fillets in the cedar papers.

Preheat grill to HOT. Turn down the grill on the side you are using to low (or off). Grill for 8 – 10 minutes.  Unwrap and serve.

ENJOY!

ready to go

ready to go

This is looking promising

This is looking promising

YUM!

YUM!