Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Tour de Winnipeg"

Just a couple of weeks before The Big Day, I had a lovely visit from my dear friend Andrea and her hubs, Colin.  They were on their own blog-worthy journey: a cross-country move from B.C. back to Ontario, visiting friends along the way.  I was lucky enough to be one of them!  So, I acted as a "Winnipeg Ambassador" and took the lovely couple to the Forks after a delicious meal.

On the pedestrian bridge at the Forks.
Since Andrea and Colin were here for just one night only, I wanted to showcase as much of the culinary diversity of the city as I could.  So, I devised the following menu:
And here's how I pulled it off!

Getting ingredients ready for the pickerel almondine...
Look at those gorgeous filets, thanks to the Gimli Fish Market.  I could link to the recipe, but it was pretty simple: I put the filet on top of a "bed" of sliced red onions and lemon wheels.  Top with paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, green onion, basil, slivered almonds, and dot with butter.  Wrap and bake.
The appetizer: kubasa, pickels, bison burgers, and Bothwell cheese.  Mmm.  I put a hoisin sauce glaze on the burgers as a nod towards Chinatown down on King street.  Colin seemed to really like it!!
Finished fish!  Loosely based on this recipe.  For all you Americans, yes, pickerel = walleye.
Asparagus with goma (sesame) dressing.  I fell in love with this after Deb introduced me to maguro goma-ae, a tuna and avocado salad at her favourite sushi place, Naru.  I found a recipe for it here, and used it to symbolize all the Japanese restaurants in the city (even if they're mostly owned and operated by lovely Koreans...)
Red velvet cupcakes.  What more can I say.  You're all familiar with my recipe, but I made them mini this time.  Portion control!!
Cinnamon buns from Stellas.  Calm down... yes, I know they're not from Tall Grass Prairie.  But honestly, I was at Stella'a already buying some focaccia to represent Little Italy on Corydon, so I just picked them up there.  They were QUITE delish.
Overall, I must say, I was rather pleased with the whole event.  Andrea and Colin are so sweet that they sent me some Irish breakfast tea as a thank you for hosting them (Andrea is an incredibly thoughtful person and also likes to send gifts by mail frequently.  I most recently got this awesome Ravenclaw laptop case from her!!  Isn't she fantastic??)

I always love when people come to visit and see this life I've built for myself out here in the Prairies.  It reminds me that, even though my friends might USUALLY be far away, they're still willing to take the time and see what I'm up to.  It was so much fun having this fantastic couple over... and set the stage for me to develop a "five-point Winnipeg tour" for my parents when they visited!  There was lots of good food involved there, too, including a trip to Fude in the Village... but I digress.

Wondering what the best way might be to tackle the quintessential Manitoba beet,

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