Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and fulfilling New Year.

I hope you all relax, eat well, drink well and live well.

Thank you for visiting me at BLIM in 2009, I look forward to seeing you in 2010.

Eat dates, figs, nuts, oranges, Stilton, port and chocolate.

Merry Christmas

Brian X

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter Burgers

makes 18 burgers, can be frozen

Soak 750gm dried chickpeas in cold water overnight, or 8 hours. Allow enough room to almost double in size. Strain and rinse chickpeas. Remove any loose skins. Cover chickpeas with fresh, clean water and bring to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer for about 2 hours or until chickpeas are tender. Skim surface regularly. Strain and cool.

When chickpeas are cool remove loose skins, lightly process the chickpeas to break them up retaining some texture and uneven sizes. Use the pulse button on the food processor.

Trim the crust from ½ medium sized loaf of French white bread. Process to fine breadcrumbs. In a large bowl use your hands to stir breadcrumbs through the chickpeas until evenly distributed. Using your hands avoids breaking up the chickpeas any further and compressing the breadcrumbs.

Add the following to the chickpea mixture and stir through until evenly distributed: 2 tbsp ground fennel, 1 ¼ tbsp cumin, 1 ¼ tbsp smoked hot paprika, 1 rounded tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper.

Next add ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, use a dark, rich flavoured oil. You may need to add more oil than this. Test the mixture by squeezing in the palm of your hands, it is ready when it holds together but is still a little fragile.

Now form the burgers. Take a handful of chickpea mixture and, using both your hands, mould into a palm sized patty about 2cm thick.

To cook the burgers heat a dry frying pan or griddle to medium hot. Lay the burgers in the pan and brush the tops with olive oil. After about 3 minutes carefully turn the burgers using 2 spatulas (the burgers are fragile) brush with olive oil. Cook for another 3 minutes or until burgers are starting to brown.

Serve in focaccia with a spicy dressing. Alternatively, serve on rice and lentils with a spicy sauce and green salad.

Take the basic composition of these burgers and play with the seasonings to create your own burger.

thank you!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by at the Blim Market, and a special thank you for all the compliments and kind feedback.

I’m very pleased you enjoyed it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blim Market, Sunday November 29, 2009

Cambrian Hall, 17th & Main, 11am - 5pm

This coming Sunday is a great opportunity to do a bit of Christmas shopping and find some truly original gifts AND enjoy some lovely hot comfort food.

Here’s the menu, full of cozy cold weather flavours:

winter burger: chickpea patty with smoked paprika, fennel and cumin in focaccia with a rich spicy tomato compote

beet and sage tarts, with an onion and potato crust

sweet spicy almonds and pecans

I'm looking forward to staving off your hunger!

Fusilli with Chickpeas, Bacon and Sage

Serves 2 with leftovers for lunch
Always use the best ingredients you can find to suit your budget.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Heat up one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté half a chopped onion with 6 slices of smoked bacon cut into ½ inch pieces. Stir in half a carrot, julienned. Stir in one can of organic chickpeas, rinsed.

When water is at a rolling boil add 4 cups of whole wheat fusilli, return to boil and simmer until al dente.

Add two canned tomatoes, chopped plus ½ cup of juice to the chickpea mixture. Just before pasta is ready stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped sage, a good twist of black pepper and a generous pinch of sea salt. Stir through ½ cup of heavy cream.

Drain pasta and add to chickpeas, stir to coat.

Serve with grated padano and extra black pepper.

Friday, October 16, 2009

BLIM Market October 18, 2009

BLIM Market, Sunday October 18th, 11am - 5pm,

Cambrian Hall, 17th & Main

I'm really looking forward to all the comforting foods Autumn and Winter have to offer.

The October BLIM Market wiil mark a change in the menu with the introduction of soups and big flavours to carry us through the colder months.

The menu will be:

Butternut Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup with Sage Focaccia

Artichoke and Onion Potato Tart

Bite-size Salted Pistachio Brownie

Bite-size Brandied Pumpkin Pie

See you there!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BLIM Market

Sunday, September 20, 2009 11am to 5pm
The Cambrian Hall, 17th & Main

This Sunday sees the BLIM Market return to the Cambrian Hall to nestle in for some Fall and Winter fun.

After skipping the August market in favour of my brother-in-laws wedding, I'll be back with a selection of favourites to quench your hunger:

An Italian flat bread dressed with a rich tomato, sage and rosemary sauce encasing a lemon and chili garbanzo bean patty - served hot.

Focaccia Pies
mushroom, garlic, arugula

Salted Pistachio Brownies
70% cocoa brownie sandwiching salted pistachio nuts.

See you there!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sunday, July 19th BLIM Community Market on Main Street

This month BLIM Community Market will be out on the street to join the regular car free days being enjoyed on Main Street. On July 19th the market will be between 12th Ave and 16th Ave. from 12 noon to 5pm.

I will be there providing a selection of rustic Italian delights, all perfect for lunch.

Focaccia Pies
with a choice of fillings:
mushroom, garlic, arugula (dairy free)
sweet peppers, chili, capers, feta

a pie with a crust similar to a thin pizza dough filled with
mascarpone, tomato, olives, garlic, chili

Salted Pistachio Brownies
70% cocoa is the perfect foil for the salt of the pistachios

Rosemary and Raisin Buns

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

I look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

feasting at BLIM

in the foreground focaccia buns filled with ricotta, basil and lemon zest

tiella: a crust similar to pizza dough filled with cream cheese,
garlic, olives, capers, chili and olive oil

herb twists: romano cheese, sage and parsley

onion rye bread with caraway seeds

refreshing watermelon with mint and lime juice

Friday, June 12, 2009

BLIM June 14, 2009

This Sunday sees the Blim Community Market joining in the fun of Car Free Day on Main Street from 12 to 6pm.

I'll be there, inside the BLIM Lounge at 17th and Main, serving rustic Italian delights perfect for a hot summer's day. On the menu will be:

Focaccia Buns
A Southern Italian focaccia bun baked with a ricotta, basil and lemon filling

An Italian "pie" filled with mascarpone, olives, tomatoes, garlic, capers and chili

Onion and Caraway Bread Wedges

Perfect for snacking

Herb Twists
Perfect for snacking

Citrus Nut Rolls
Almond & orange or pistachio & lemon wrapped in sweet pastry

Watermelon with Lime and Mint
To keep you refreshed

I look forward to seeing you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Good Times at BLIM

a rich tomato, sage and rosemary sauce and lemon chili garbanzo bean patty on piadina

A good day was had by all at the Blim Community Market last Sunday. As always the market was packed with really interesting stalls run by really interesting and fun people.

A big thank you to all the friends and familiar faces who stopped by to chat and eat, so nice to see you all. And a big thank you to Boneless Bakery (amazing vegan baking) for being the best neighbours.

I am so happy that my ever popular piadina with garbanzo bean patties went like hot-cakes, and the rich dark chocolate brownies, which contrasted salty pistachio nuts with 70% cocoa seemed pretty popular too.

Looking forward to see you all again soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BLIM May 24, 2009

Blim Community Market Cambrian Hall 215 East 17th Avenue Vancouver 11am - 5pm

This month sees the return of the oh-so popular piadina!

On the menu this month will be:

An Italian flat bread dressed with a rich tomato, sage and rosemary sauce encasing a lemon and chili garbanzo bean patty.

Pistachio Brownie
A dark chocolate brownie sandwiching salted pistachio nuts.

Citrus Nut Rolls
Sweet pastry filled with pistachio and lemon.

See you there!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun and Sun at Blim

A beautifully warm sunny day was perfect for hanging out and shopping at the Blim Community Market at the Cambrian Hall last Sunday.

Especially popular was Torta Patate, a rich and comforting olive oil pastry tart filled with potato, ricotta & parmesan cheese, chives and nutmeg.

Among those many people who don't want wheat or gluten, the Torta di Ceci was an exciting new option. Torta di Ceci has its roots in Livorno on the north-west coast of Italy. It's a blend of chickpea flour, extra virgin olive oil, water and salt baked to a luscious cakiness. The Livornese traditionally dress the torta with finely chopped onion or rosemary. I chose to top it with a pungent salsa verde, heavy on rosemary.

Thanks to everyone who enjoyed the food for your kind compliments.

See you there next month.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

BLIM April 26, 2009

Blim Community Market Cambrian Hall 215 East 17th Avenue Vancouver 11am - 5pm

Robinson Fine Food will again be serving freshly prepared hot rustic Italian food.
On the menu this month will be:

Torta di Ceci
A chickpea and olive oil cake dressed with a rich rosemary salsa verde.

Torta Patate
Potato and cheese scented with chives and nutmeg, wrapped in thin olive oil pastry.

Delightful sweet pastries filled with either almond and orange or pistachio and lemon.

I look forward to serving you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

BLIM March 29, 2009

Thanks to everyone who came out to the BLIM Community Market on March 29th and enjoyed the piadina with grilled aubergine, basil and garbanzo bean patties.

Special thank you to Cheryl Rossi, Christine Bodner, Autumn Sweet and Peter Fodor, your hard work and enthusiasm brought the day together and made it a happy success.

Special thank you also to Mona Mok and Bill Stilwell for your terrific photography and blog skills.