Tag: PC

Foodie Swellness: From Italy with Amore at Loblaws

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Can’t we all use #moreamore in our lives? More specifically, more Italian cuisine made with authentic Italian ingredients?

I say sì! And I recently had the chance to learn to learn how to make some dishes from Chef Massimo Bruno at Loblaws. Bruno is from Puglia, and has lived in Toronto for about 16 years, and he said that when he first moved to Canada, it was hard for him to find the Italian ingredients he needed to make his dishes. This is not the case anymore because Loblaws carries more than 350 authentically Italian — they’re certified by the Italian Trade Commission — including many of Bruno’s favourites such as Lupa cheese.

Chef Massimo Bruno at More Amore

It was such a treat to get to learn from Bruno; I’ve been keen to go to one of his monthly supper clubs for ages but now I was getting to learn to cook alongside him. We made a few dishes: fettuccini with tuna and lemon, and a fresh pasta with tomatoes and garlic.

I learned a lot from Bruno over the course of the evening about Italian cooking:

  • When cooking with pecorino romano, be careful with how much salt you add to your dish as the cheese itself is quite salty, so add salt sparingly (if at all).
  • Don’t cheap out; spend the extra $5 on authentic pecorino romano (he likes the romano lupa) as it’ll really make your dish sing. When you buy a bottle of olive oil, go for a quality one, such as the President’s Choice Extra Virgin Olive Oil From Tuscany.
  • When making a sauce using ingredients like fresh tomatoes and garlic like the one we made, prepare it and let it sit so that the flavours come together.
  • There are two types of gorgonzola, dolce and piccante. Dolce is sweeter. Bruno recommends using Dolce if you’re cooking since many people find gorgonzola to be quite strong, so Dolce is a safer choice given it is more subtle.
  • There is no such thing as too much parmigiano reggiano.
  • There is also no such thing as too much fresh basil. Pile it on, says Bruno. He says you’ll never get a complaint, “Oh there’s too much basil in this.”
  • When using tomato purée to make your pasta sauce, add a little bit of water. If you don’t, your passata will cook off and become too thick and paste-like.
  • A quality dried pasta will have a slightly rough texture to it before you throw it into the pot of salted boiling water. (And don’t be shy when salting the water, Bruno threw handfuls into the water; he says it’s essential to cooking the noodles that the water be well salted).
  • You can trust in the imported Italian food products with the DOP label. This label is the product’s certification, which means you can be confident the product has been locally grown and packaged in Italy using traditional methods. DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, which translates to Protected Designation of Origin.

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Besides all of these foodie lessons, we ate so well (above is a beef dish Massimo prepared for us) and that fettucine we all helped prepare? It’s so simple to make and you can be eating in about 10 minutes, which is exactly the kind of recipe we all need when we get home and it’s late and we’re too tired to cook, right? Here’s the recipe:

Fettucine with tuna, lemon and basil

Fettuccini with tuna, lemon and basil

In a large bowl, add one can of Rio Mare tuna, drizzle with olive oil. Add the zest and then the juice of one lemon. Add some fresh basil (you can just tear the leaves with your fingers) and season with pepper. In the meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted boiling water as per the package. Take about a half cup of the starchy water the pasta has been cooked in and add to your tuna mixture (this will make the sauce easier to mix with your noodles). Drain the pasta and add the noodles to the tuna sauce and mix to combine.

And you’re done! Dinner is on the table. So simple yet so good.

Here’s to more amoré in your life! Buon appetito!

(sponsored)

 

Leave a Comment November 3, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Chinese New Year celebrations with Real Canadian Superstore & No Frills (+ a giveaway!)

Chinese New Year lantern from RCSS

This Saturday, January 28, 2017, is Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Rooster! Now while I haven’t celebrated it in years, about a year ago, I interviewed chef Eric Chong about his family’s Chinese New Year traditions and he spoke of the annual feast they prepare. Which got me thinking, so I asked my sisters what we used to do, and they said my mom used to prepare homemade bau, and special dishes with chicken and shiitake mushrooms. And that we weren’t allowed to wash our hair that day (a superstitious tradition of some sort, which I don’t follow now, sorry, mom!).

I don’t really remember too much of this…I think maybe by the time I came around (I’m the baby of the family) that we celebrated less and less (was I such a handful that all sorts of extra cooking and festivities dwindled down?!). While I don’t host a particular celebration now, this week I learned what a bounty of foods (at good prices, too) there are at Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills to help one do so.

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Both stores have steadily been moving towards making their stores a one-stop shop with a focus on offering a great selection of global foods.

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Like these T&T pork and leek dumplings and green onion pancakes (above). I love that they’re so quick to prepare so it makes for a tasty meal both for part of a CNY celebration but also any time of year. I also found things like sour sop ice cream, dragonfruit, lo mein noodles, Rooster dried flower mushrooms, pineapple cakes, and so much more. If I were hosting a dinner, this vegetable dish looks amazing, and I’d be able to get all of the ingredients at No Frills or RCSS (if you’d like to make it, here’s the recipe for this Braised Chinese Mushrooms and Sesame Bok Choy).

Braised Mushroom and Sesame Bok Choy - FINAL

RCSS and No Frills both have oodles of fresh produce and foods to help you prep for your Chinese New Year celebrations. They carry a good selection of T&T and loads of Rooster brand products and fresh fruits like starfruit, dragonfruit and yes, citrus fruits (so key to Chinese New Year!). And at Real Canadian Superstore, you can also pick up some decorations for your get-together! My favourite is the pretty lantern at the top of this post.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

Now, how would you like to win a little red envelope in celebration of Chinese Year New? I’m giving away five PC giftcards valued at $20 each that can be used at Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills.   This giveaway is open to all Canadian residents.

It’s an Instagram giveaway, and here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow me on Instagram, @healthandswellness.
  2. Comment on the Instagram photo related to this giveaway (it’s a photo of the red lantern) what your favourite Chinese dish or food is, and also tag two friends who you’d invite to your Year of the Rooster celebrations.

The giveaway closes at noon (12 p.m. EST) on Monday, January 30, 2017, and I’ll randomly select five winners that day. The winners will be notifed via Instagram so that the five lucky people can provide their addresses and details to claim their giftcard prize.

Thanks and good luck!

Congratulations to the winners of this giveaway: @ avodah8 @nicoleroannef @dlasquinha @laurieswimmer and @xvalmeida! 

 

 

Leave a Comment January 25, 2017


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