Category Archives: Merchants

Merchants and purveyors of distinction.

Copenhagen Street Food

I had some downtime on the weekend, so I accepted an invitation from friends to hop the train to meet them in Copenhagen (about an hour away). After some “tracks are closed, take a bus part of the way” drama, we were soon meeting up in gorgeous downtown Copenhagen.

CopenhagenStreetFood 011 It’s a very old city, but one that is not shy about mixing in new buildings and the place seems to be booming with building cranes obstructing much of the skyline.

CopenhagenStreetFoodb 008

We walked along pedestrian malls, a Christmas village and Copenhagen’s most famous and picturesque main canal before we hopped a cab to a unique place called “Copenhagen Street Food“. It’s in the warehouse district along the working part of the canal.

CopenhagenStreetFood 012

It’s a large warehouse with food stalls, food trucks, shipping containers with food businesses and tables. It had a food market, street food, shanty town, alternative vibe going on.

CopenhagenStreetFood 014

Here vendors were selling all kinds of well-made food, including fish and chips, Mexican, Persian, Japanese, Korean, Local, Vegan, burgers and other cuisines with flair. There were also wine, craft beer and beverage stalls as well.

CopenhagenStreetFood 013

I knew what I wanted for lunch as soon as I saw the Korean truck and ordered japchae, sweet potato starch noodles with onions and carrots and a sweet and savoury beef mixture, in this case drizzled with Korean hot sauce.

CopenhagenStreetFood 015

The same stall also served bulgogi  (grilled beef short rib in a sweet sauce of soy, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil) and some spicy fried chicken with dumplings.

CopenhagenStreetFood 016

The japchae was what I hoped for: sweet and savoury with slippery, glassy noodles and beef with sauce rich in umami flavour.

CopenhagenStreetFood 018

Street Food was a tremendous place to hang out — we spent probably 2 hours here just talking and catching up. The servings are not so large that you could easily sample a couple of these great vendors in a visit.

The Dish: Amazing Tomato Sauce!

In the winter, we buy good canned tomatoes, in whole and crushed and sauce form because good, fresh tomatoes are nowhere to be found. Recently in a local gourmet store, we happened upon a small, stubby bottle of cherry tomato sauce, made in Italy by Agromonte. It looked just like the old stubby beer bottles and it even had a pop top.

We opened it several weeks later to make pizza and couldn’t believe how alive the sauce was with fresh cherry tomato flavour. It’s sweet, with a little acid and needed no dressing up at all. It made for amazing pizza sauce. Unfortunately, enough time had passed between buying this bottle and us using it, that we had forgotten where we bought it. We looked many places on our usual rounds and happened upon it at the Herb and Spice in Westboro on Wellington. I’m pretty sure that’s not where we got it originally, but we’re very happy to have found it again. We bought 6 bottles of the stuff and have since used it in simple spaghetti and pasta dishes with consistently terrific results.

 

Inspiration 2: Perogies

For the second time in as many visits, a trip to Piggy Market changed our dinner plans on the spot. We spotted heads of local cabbage in the corner, molasses-cured smoked bacon and perogies behind the glass counters and a lovely home-made apple pie cooling on the counter. My plan hatched immediately. It was cool, grey day, calling out for a dinner of old-world comfort food.

The cabbage was chopped and blanched. Onions and bacon fried together, the pot de-glazed with a generous couple of glugs of Waupoos hard apple cider. The cabbage was added and fried until soft, absorbing the bacon fat and flavours from the thickened cider.

 

The pot, now emptied of its  mixture, gets a fresh dollop of special, high-milk fat butter, and we fry the cheese and potato pillows until they are golden. Everything is tossed together and served with the rest of the Waupoos, paving the way for the punctuation of a perfect sweet bite of pie.

 

Locavore Artisan Food Fair

On a sunny, but chilly December morning Maureen and I headed to the Locavore Artisan Food Market at Memorial Hall in New Edinburgh. Located in a tiny community centre, the room was brimming with local food vendors and patrons, all there to celebrate our local food business and the local food movement.

The room was small, but it was packed!

Cookies, salsas, ice creams, breads, spreads, mustards, sauces, jams, pies, spices, cakes, full meals and many other items were being sold at a brisk pace. By the time you read this, the event will be over, of course. However the vendors make their products available via many outlets in the city and sometimes directly. It really is worth seeking out these artisans and supporting their businesses. It helps to diversify the Ottawa palate, grow the local economy, bring together the Ottawa food community, and it’s damn tasty too. These items make terrific presents and also make form a more interesting table at home.

Jams from michaelsdolce
Pie and ready-made mincemeat from Life of Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art-is-in Bakery wares. Hard to not want to buy everything!

We picked up more of Pascal’es amazing hot chocolate (and I hope to actually have some this time), some “Hot Toddy” ice cream, some michaelsdolce jams, Mrs. McGarrigle’s mustards, Yummy Cookies chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies and some smoked tomato jam from Just Wing’it. Yum!

Some yummy cookies from...well, Yummy Cookies.

Here’s a listing of all the local artisans with links to their websites. Please support them!

Everything looked so good.
Goodies galore.

Flank Steak: Inspiration Strikes!

When we went to visit the newly re-opened Piggy market (see previous post), we weren’t sure what to expect. We knew that the intention was to re-open as a craft butcher, along with  lovely artisan charcuterie and locally sourced foods that we love, but when we spied the quality of the meat on display, we were thrilled.

Upon seeing a gorgeous flank steak, whatever plans we had for dinner flew out the window. I had to get that steak on my grill. When we got home I cut the steaks in half and prepared a beefy marinade I like with olive oil, steak spice, orange and lime juice along with Claude’s Marinade (a great product for grilling beef).  I placed the steak in container along with some onion slices and red pepper strips, added the marinade, and left it in the fridge for a good soak until that evening.

Maureen made a cilantro relish (cilantro, lime, salt, pepper, olive oil, chilies — pulsed in the food processor, recipe’s here) that’s bright with lime and we warmed up some tortillas. After the steak and vegetables were grilled, I let the steak rest and chopped the onion and peppers. The steak was perfectly grilled, a juicy pink on the inside when sliced on the bias, with a nice bark-like coating on the outside.

We assembled the tortillas with a spoonful of the charred, sweet onions and peppers, a couple slices of the steak a dollop of the cilantro relish and a generous shake of Cholula hot sauce. The rich, smoky flavours miked together with the brightness of the relish and hot sauce and made for a perfect Saturday night meal.