Joey’s Only Seafood – Restaurant Review (St. Vital Location)

A couple weekends ago a friend of ours invited Pascal and I out for supper at Joey’s Only. I had been to Joey’s once before at a different location and really enjoyed the food. I was excited to go again. It’s funny really because our friend actually doesn’t like any type of seafood but loves the chicken fingers so much that he’s a regular there.

I on the other hand, LOVE seafood. To start, me and Pascal shared some crispy calamari. It was served with both seafood cocktail sauce and tartar sauce. I loved the cocktail sauce and calamari combo so much that I asked for extra sauce to go with my meal.

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Calamari, Cocktail Sauce & Tartar Sauce

We went on a Saturday and as soon as I saw what the deal of the day was I knew what I was ordering. The special was crab legs, signature breaded fish, fries and a caesar salad. More food then I could eat, but my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. The fish is deep fried to perfection with a crispy, golden batter which goes beautifully with the cocktail sauce.

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I always forget to take pictures before diving in. This is the special after I’ve already eaten most of the crab (and some of the fish and fries).

Joeys also prides themselves with working towards being 100% sustainable in their seafood supply. Both their North Pacific cod and Alaska pollock are wild caught, Ocean Wise certified. Currently roughly 70% of their seafood meets the Ocean Wise standard and they are working towards 30%. Learn more about their goal of sustainability at https://joeys.ca/menu/ocean-wise .

So if you’re looking for a place with great seafood and trying to do their part for the ocean, check and see if there’s a Joeys Only near you. When you do so, drop us a comment on how your visit at that location went and what your favorite item on the menu was so we can try it next time we go.

Homemade Waffles

Wow. It’s been over a month since our last post. Things got crazy busy and it was hard to post as much as we would have liked. Wish me better luck this time. I’m going to start with a super simple yet super delicious recipe to get back in the swing of things. Homemade waffles!

First things first, in order to make waffles you need a waffle maker. That being said, most waffle recipes can be adapted and used as a pancake recipe instead and then you can just use a frying pan. I haven’t tried my waffle recipe as a pancake recipe yet but if you do, please let me know how it turns out. The waffle maker that I use is a Salton Belgium Waffle Maker, Model WM1075. It makes two waffles at a time. I got it as a birthday gift from Pascal last year and I love it.

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My Salton Belguim Waffle Maker, Model WM1075

I choose a basic recipe, one that I already had all the ingredients for at home and you probably do too. The fun part about making waffles isn’t necessarily about what you put IN them as much as it is about what you put ON them. For our toppings we decided to use margerine, syrup, cool whip, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and nutella. The possibilities are endless though. Trying new toppings makes it an exciting meal. If you’re making them for your family or friends, try setting up a waffle bar where they can pick and choose which toppings they’d like to try. Next time I make waffles, I’m going to try making a s’mores waffle sandwich, I’ll let you guys know how that goes! Feel free to let me know what your favorite waffle toppings are so I can try those also.

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Our toppings of choice; syrup, margarine, nutella, cool whip, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

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DIRECTIONS:

1.) In medium bowl, beat eggs until thick then add milk and oil.

2.) Add dry ingredients, mix until smooth.

3.) Use your waffle maker as per instructions included.

4.) Choose your toppings and enjoy!

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Our waffles before adding toppings….
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….and after adding the toppings. Nutella, berries and cool whip, yum!

 

 

 

Wakoya Sushi (Osborne Village)

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I always thought the idea of sushi was repulsive. I grew up on the east coast and ate a lot of seafood, always cooked.  I tried sushi for the first time when I was 19 and living in Winnipeg. I wasn’t a huge fan. A lot has changed in 2 years. The people I spend most of my time around love sushi, so I have come to love it too. 

The first thing I seem to order when I go to a sushi place is assorted tempura. I ABSOLUTELY love it. My favourite is always the shrimp and the yam. When I ordered it at Wakoya Sushi it came to the table in such a timely fashion, I didn’t have time to be hungry. And it definitely didn’t disappoint. It was the perfect amount of crispiness with a great assortment of veggies and shrimp.

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Assorted tempura (yam and shrimp shown above)

I decided to try one of the regular rolls on the menu called “Beach”. It contains crab meat, tempura crumbs, fish eggs, mayo and hot sauce. I often choose sushi with crab, as crab is my favourite seafood. I was a little nervous about trying the fish eggs as it seems like everyone is always grossed out by them but I found them to be pretty much tasteless. The roll itself though was delicious. The hot sauce and mayo complimented the perfectly portioned crabmeat and tempura mixture. Next time I go I will probably ask for more hot sauce as I like it a little more spicy then they offered (I do not like wasabi).

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“Beach” roll (crab meat, tempura crumbs, fish eggs, mayo, and hot sauce)

The restaurant itself is very mellow. It is located right on Osborne so if you love people watching (like I do), Wakoya Shushi is a great place to have a relaxing meal and do just that. Their dinnerware was beautifully crafted, and added to the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. They also have lots of lucky cats on display through-out, which is another favourite of mine when visiting sushi restaurants. I highly recommend that anyone new to sushi and willing to give it a try, make this place your first. And if you are a sushi lover already, which I am slowly turning into, then Wakoya should definitely be added as a consistent go-to when you’re in the area. Check them out and let us know what you think!  

Skinny Blueberry Muffins

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Since I mentioned the skinny blueberry muffins in our first post, I figured it was time to share the recipe with you guys. I always stayed away from recipes that called for greek yogurt as I was unsure as to how it would effect the taste. I decided to give it a try though as I was looking for healthy dessert recipes and it was definitely worth the shot.

The recipe only calls for half a cup of sugar and the greek yogurt keeps the muffins moist without all the added oil of most muffin recipes. It’s a perfect go-to dessert for those of you who are like me, working hard to get that summer body but still love to snack. The recipe calls for plenty of blueberries so each bite is bursting with flavour.

I mentioned that this recipe asks for less sugar than most recipes but with the sweetness of the blueberries you do not miss it. Sneak in a few extra blueberries if you’d like (I know I did). Give the recipe a try and tell me what you liked or didn’t like or if you have any other healthy dessert recipes you think I should try.

**Recipe from Averie Cooks**

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Fresh out of oven and ready to be eaten. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk or any milk substitute
  • 1/4 cup of canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of 0% fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a non-stick 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside.

3.) In a separate large bowl, add the egg, sugar, milk, canola oil, greek yogurt, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth and combined.

4.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir gently until smooth and combined without over mixing or the muffins will be tough.

5.) Add the blueberries and fold into the batter. 

6.) Evenly distribute the batter into the 12 cavities of the muffin pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full. Add a couple extra blueberries to the tops for a nice pop of colour.

7.) Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. The short baking time at a high heat helps create a domed top.

8.) Lower the temperature to 375F and bake for about 20 minutes or until tops are set, lightly golden, springy and a toothpick comes out with no batter. 

9.) Allow muffins to cool in the pan on top of a wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing and placing on the rack to cool completely. Muffins are best fresh but will keep airtight room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months

10.) Enjoy!

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(Not so) patiently waiting for them to cool off.

 

 

Nuburger Review (“The Forks” Location)

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The Tropic Thunder chicken burger on the left & Shang-Awesome burger on the right. Flight of beers from The Commons.

The Forks is a historic meeting place dating back 6000 years. If you are not from Winnipeg, as I am not originally, let me create a visual for you. The Red River and Assiniboine River converge, creating a natural skating trail in the winter or a scenic river walk in the summer. They host cultural events throughout the year and farmers markets in the summer. No matter what time of year you go, there is always something interesting to see or do. The peacefulness of the area is why I fell so easily in love with The Forks.

Another favourite part of The Forks for me is the amount and variety of restaurants they have. And with their current update (The Commons), it just keeps getting better. It was Pascal’s birthday two weeks ago and although he hates celebrating, he agreed to go out for supper. I suggested Nuburger, as The Forks is close by and a favourite for both of us. He complied (mostly because beer was involved) and off we went to The Commons to share supper. I ordered the Tropic Thunder burger with a side of fries and Pascal had the Shang-Awesome.

The thing I loved most about the Tropic Thunder burger was the amount of spice it had. I love meals that have a little kick of heat, but not too much. This chicken burger had the perfect amount. The grilled pineapple gave a nice cooling effect so that it wasn’t overwhelming. And of course you can never go wrong with bacon and cheese. The fries were also a hit with me. Nuburger has a variety of dips to go along with your fries for $1, we ordered the chipotle aioli. Because my burger was spicy I found it overwhelming to also have the spicy dip. The chipotle aioli did taste amazing though and I am excited to try the other flavours they have such as the sweet chilli mayo instead.

The Shang-Awesome was the 2013 Le Burger Week winner and it was clear to see why. The house made asian slaw was tasty and provided a nice crunch. Their hot damn mushrooms gave a nice hint of spiciness that was cooled down with the goat cheese. A true masterpiece.

Nuburger is a local burger restaurant that originally opened up in the Osborne Village area. They make burgers that are healthy, gourmet and awesome. Nuburger is also an environmentally conscious business that buys their ingredients from local farmers. Nuburger has won the Le Burger week competition three times with very creative tastes. You can also find many different and delicious vegetarian burger options that will leave you constantly craving to return for more.

 

 

Our First Dinner Party (Coquilles St. Jacques)

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Final presentation paired nicely with our “variety” of French wines

 

Food is an excellent means for people to get together, have lively conversation and create fond memories over. I had just finished baking some “skinny” blueberry muffins (post to follow) and the creative juices were flowing. Pascal decided he wanted to host a dinner party. He had been wanting to make Coquilles St.Jacques for awhile so this was the perfect opportunity to test out the recipe that his father always made on the most special of occasions. Coquilles St. Jasques was a new experience for us all, except Pascal, and we were all ready to try something to new and adventurous.

There were so many different aspects of the dish cooking at the same time so it was really nice to have guests that arrived to help with the cooking process. Having everyone that was eating the food involved with the creation of the dish made for a greater appreciation for the masterpiece we created together. It also created a little misunderstanding in directions that led to the bouillon being thrown out before it was used. This was something we were all able to laugh about while eating. Luckily we had bought enough of the ingredients that we were able to scrounge up enough of them to remake it really quick.

The recipe calls for a dry white wine. I recommend that you use a chardonnay in this dish because of its high acidity and clean crisp flavour. It pairs excellently with the cheeses used in the dish.

For the meal we had plenty of wines to choose from. Pascal and I had picked out a pinot grigio to drink with the dish. Our guests had all brought wine to share with dinner as well, being the great guests that they were.

The aroma that filled the air once the dish came out of the oven was phenomenal. We all waited eagerly for it to be placed on our plates so we could dig in. With the wine open and being passed around, we enjoyed our meal over laughs and good conversation. We were all asking for seconds before we were even done our first serving. The gruyere’s sharp taste and the flavours of the wine made for a well balanced sauce that encompassed the scallops beautifully. All hugged together with mashed potatoes that helped to eat up every last bit of the sauce. By the end of the night there wasn’t an empty stomach or a sober mind.

Please take a look at the recipe below and give it a try at home. We want to hear about your experiences, your dinner parties, and if you’ve ever had Coquilles St.Jacques. If you have any questions regarding the recipe, where to find certain supplies or ingredients, let us know or just leave a comment. This is our first post so constructive criticism is more than welcome. Bon appetit!

 

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Pascal piping the mashed potatoes before placing the seashells in the oven to finish them off.

**Recipe from McCall’s cooking school**

INGREDIENTS:    

COURT BOUILLON

  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, cut up
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 slices of lemon
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 lb of sea scallops, washed and drained

SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 lb of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1 cup of light cream
  • 1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup of reserved court bouillon 
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 

MASHED POTATO

  • 2lbs of white potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of water, the onion, celery, bay leaf and lemon. Bring to boil then reduce heat keeping at a simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of wine and scallops. Gently simmer, covered, for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and reserve the liquid.

2. In a second medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of butter. Once melted, saute the chopped onions and sliced mushrooms. Stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in flour and pepper and blend well. Gradually stir in cream. Bring to a boil as you continue to stir.

3. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring frequently until quite thick, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add Gruyere cheese, stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in white wine, 1/2 cup of court bouillon and the parsley. Add scallops and mix well. Divide into 6-8 scallop shells. (We used 8 medium sized shells and it fit the portions perfectly, with just a little bit of mashed potato left over)

4. In a pot big enough to cover the potatoes with an inch of water, place the peeled potatoes, cut into quaters. Cook covered until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain very well, return to saucepan and heat over low heat to dry out the potatoes. Beat with mixer at medium speed.

5. Beat potato until smooth (no lumps). In saucepan, heat butter and milk until butter melts – don’t let milk boil. Gradually beat hot milk mixture into potato until smooth. Beat 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 of pepper and the egg yolk until light and fluffy.

6. Place mashed potatoes into a pastry bag with a number 6 tip. Pipe a border around edge of each scallop dish. Sprinkle the dish with parmesan cheese. Place shells on cookie sheet. Broil 4 inches from heat, until golden brown and hot, about 2-3 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

 

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Fresh out of the oven! The aroma had our mouths watering.

 

            

 

 

 

Introduction

All food tells a story. Through the taste, preparation, presentation and experiences shared. This blog is about the stories found in the meals we eat at restaurants and the meals we prepare ourselves. Recipes and photographs will accompany our creations so you too can experience the story the food was meant to share.