Saturday, August 30, 2008

Baked Brie in Puff Pastry

A weekend recipe for you. Recipe courtesy of Stonewall Kitchen.

Baked Brie In Puff Pastry with Honey Tarragon Mustard
Kim Gallagher

Serves: 8

1 sheet of frozen Puff Pastry
1/4 cup Stonewall Kitchen Honey Tarragon Mustard
1-5” wheel of Brie or (or small, milder Camembert will do)
1 egg white
1 tsp. water
  1. Directions
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by greasing lightly or lining it with parchment paper.
  2. Allow pastry to thaw. Flour a surface and roll the dough into a 13” square. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Making sure you only cut through the skin of the Brie, run a knife around the top 1/4-inch in from the edge. Make several cuts across the Brie forming small triangles and then gently remove the skin forming a shallow cup to hold the mustard.
  4. Place the Brie in the center of the pastry.
  5. Spoon 1/4 cup of the Stonewall Kitchen Honey Tarragon Mustard over the Brie.
  6. Forming a bag bring the sides of the pastry up to the center top of the Brie round. If there is too much pastry you may have to trim a little off. Carefully press the dough onto the Brie and pinch tightly at the top to seal. You may want to pre-cut a strip of dough from the rolled out pastry to form a false ribbon around the neck of your bag.
  7. Whisk together the egg white and water. Brush entire bag with egg whites; this will make the baked dough shine.
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake 25-30 minutes until the dough is golden brown.
  9. Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  10. With a large spatula transfer the Brie to a serving dish and serve with French bread toasts, sliced apples, grapes and crackers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cheese Tasting

Tickets will be available starting tomorrow for our upcoming Cheese & Wine 101: to be held on Wednesday September 10th 2008. More information on this tasting here.
Update Sep 02/2008: This tasting is now sold out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hastings Update

Can you say "Plan C"? We've gone back to the very first plan for the front entrance. Go figure...It will give us some more space in the storefront.

Q: do you want to know how to make it rain?
A: Hire a company to come and redo your roof.

We removed some of the existing aluminum siding on the front of the building over the weekend, with hopes of revealing the original parapet that is in some of the old drawings we've discovered. To our surprise, someone had cut it off and made it even all along the top. I think we can do some work to restore it to it's original look.

On a side note, when researching some history on the building at the City of Vancouver Archives, the archivist brought out a huge tome for me to look at, with the strict rules that I had to put on special gloves. Either that or I was being secretly filmed for an Audrey Hepburn reality show. I learned that our building was constructed the same year as The Hudson's Bay at Georgia and Granville. The Bay cost somewhere in the area of a whopping $350,000 to build at that time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Roccolo Valtaleggio

Roccolo Valtaleggio - Arriving to us from Lombardy, Italy, it's name comes from a characteristic cylindrical building with stone walls located in Valle, once a refuge for hunters. The process used to make the cheese closely recalls the ancient Salva cheese and contains fresh milk from brown alpine cattle which graze on Valtaleggio's fodder. the characteristic cylindrical from is slowly and carefully aged on wooden boards in cellars full of molds containing all different kinds of odors and colors. Its shape permits a softer cheese near the crust and a slightly dry center, intensifying the various flavors and aromas which create this special cheese.

Austrian Specialties

I got word this week that an order I placed a while back for some specialties from Austria is almost here. I'm pleased that we're going to have back the Kracher wine gelees and trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) vinegar along with some new vinegars from Staud's.
The TBA vinegar is made from ripe grapes that have shriveled on the vine, which in turn create a sweet, concentrated and complex flavor. Marc-Andre Choquette bought the last remaining cases a while back, so we're happy that this item is going to be back in stock.
The wine gelees will include beerenauslese, eiswein, chardonnay, gewurztraminer and red wine. They are excellent with cheese and pates. You can find Kracher's award winning wines for sale at Marquis Wine Cellars.
Lastly, from Golles we're getting an assortment of their fine vinegars including Pear, Quince, Beer, Tomato, Veltiner, and Apple. We also expect some of their quince jelly.
Expect these items on our shelves sometime in September.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hastings update

Since the last update, our previous plans for the entrance way got the kaibosh. Luckily John had a plan B ready to go in his back pocket. In retrospect, we all prefer it to the previous design. It's more open and inviting. This ramp means less concrete work, and the front facade has minimal changes to it with this plan. The large windows remain, which we all like.
The planning process is now coming to an end. All drawings are done, with one final kitchen ventilation drawing to be stamped. That took a little longer than expected, but it also gave us some time to line up some trades and get additional quotes. Now we're waiting on a final stamp from the mechanical engineer, after at which point we will submit all of the plans to the city, and then wait for approval.

The last little bit of demolition has been going on, and we've been able to salvage some odds and ends that will come in handy. Next up is the security upgrades, concrete coring, concrete pouring and then roofing.