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What's with Burrata?

Okay, for those of you that have not tried this 'trendy' new cheese then you must do.  Burrata, has in fact been around since the 1900's but has recently become all the rage in the soft cheese category.  It's the buffalo mozzarella of cheeses.  Hmmmm, what cheese will be next???

Anyhow, a bit about Burrata by wikipedia: It is a fresh italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside contains both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It is usually served fresh, at room temperature. The name "burrata" means "buttered" in Italian.

History: Burrata is a typical product of the Murgie in Puglia, a region in the south of Italy. It is produced from cow's milk, rennet and cream. Burrata was probably first made around 1920 or possibly 1900 on the Bianchini farm in the city of Andria in Murgia, an area in the Apulia region. In the 1950s, it became more widely available after a few of the local cheese factories began producing it. It is generally believed that factories found it a way to utilize the ritagli ("scraps" or "rags") of mozzarella. Established as an Artisanal cheese, Burrata maintained its premium-product status even after it began to be made in a number of factories throughout Apulia.

Now this brings me to my experience.  A friend of mine dropped in the other day and gave me a huge chunk of Bresaola (air cured beef).  What a treat I must say.  That same day, another lovely friend of mine gave me two containers of Burrata.  Well, what to do?  I went over to my friend Jesse's house and as we were watching the kids as the wives went out on the town, I began to build our masterpeice.  Below is a presentation of Bresaola, fresh burrata from Bosa Foods and topped with fresh Arugula and dash of Truffle Oil.  Oh, and how can I forget, a couple of great bottles of Brunello.  Man, life is GOOD!

 

Thank you to all of my friends

 

Thank you to all of my friends and family for helping me with the launch of Fresh Thinking


Vicki: Thank you for all of your great photography

Tim: Thank you for being my right hand man in the kitchen and always creating a fun environment for us in the heat of the kitchen

Morris: Thank you for always offering Fresh Thinking your beautiful house and for being my most 'honest' food critic

Scott: Thank you for developing this amazing site

Mum: Thank you for inspiring me to cook and for being mum

Katrinna:  Thank you for being my right hand female sous chef.  I'm always inspired by your ideas

Jamie:  Thank you for being my biggest food fan

My wife:  Thank you for testing my food creations every night of the week and thank you for being my best friend

Thank you to all of my friends and family that are my biggest food fans during family Football Sundays

Food, wine and friends.....

 

Tostada's and Patron

We had our close friends over for dinner, Tod and Julie, who are recently engaged. Congratulations!!!

The dinner theme was 'mexican' if you will.  I supplied the dinner and our guests supplied the tequila....wish I had changed the theme!

Tostada is a Spanish word which literally means "toasted."  So, I topped our fried corn tortilla with chorizo sausage, chilpolte, cabbage, and shredded chicken then added a spoon full of guacamole and topped with lime soaked red onion and did they ever pair well with the the 'perfect' marg (recipe below).

Tostada (serves 4-5)

Ingredients:

One large breast of chicken

3 chorizo sausages (great from Cioffi's or whole foods)

Half a head of cabbage

Chicken stock 750ml

1 red onion (half chopped and half thinly sliced)

1 white onion (half chopped and half whole)

1 can of Chilpolte

1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

1 garlic clove

1 bag of corn tortillas (usually 12 in a bag)

3 limes

Vegetable oil

Directions:

Thinly slice half of a red onion or use a mandolin if you have one and place in a bowl.  Cover the onion with the juice from 3 limes and let sit.

Place the breast of chicken in a pot and cover with chicken stock and half of a white onion.  Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to simmer and allow to cook.  Roughly 12 minutes.  Remove chicken and let it cool to handle then shred with your fingers and set aside in a bowl.

Remove the casing from the sausage and cook in a frying pan.  Break the sausage a part in small pieces with a wooden spoon until cooked.  Remove the sausage and place aside.  

With the pan still warm and with the oil from the sausage, add diced white onion and half of a chopped red onion along with one clove of chopped garlic.  Cook until soft then add finely chopped cabbage and cook for 3 minutes.  Add 3 diced chilpolte peppers and a table spoon of sauce from the Chilpolte can.  Also add 4 chopped whole tomatoes from the can and stir.  Pour in 150ml of chicken stock which was used to boil the chicken.  Stir for 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and now you're ready to serve.

While the mixture is sitting, heat vegetable oil in a pan and once hot, add one corn tortilla at a time.  Cook 30 seconds a side or until lightly brown.  Set a side once done and let them sit on a paper towel.  Once you have enough corn tortillas cooked, place on a platter or plate and spoon on mixture.  Top with your favorite guacamole recipe (mine to come one day) and your lime marinated onion.  Pictures below:

My version of a 'cadillac' margarita.

1.5 ounces of fine tequila

.5 ounce of Grand Marnier

3 ounces of sweetened lime juice

A squeeze of fresh lime and fresh orange.

Shake over ice and serve.

Salt optional

 

 

 

Vicki Gannon Photography

As you can see from this wonderful site, we have some pretty amazing shots of food, wine and friends.  A great friend of mine, Vicki 'foto' Gannon was kind enough to snap a whack of high def pictures for The Fresh Thinking site.   Thank you Vicki!

Check out her site, SHE ROCKS!!!

 

 http://www.vickigannonphotography.com/  

Method Personal Training

As most of you know, I don't only 'cook!'  My 'full time' job, if you want to call it that, is a personal trainer at Method Personal Training in West Vancouver.  The reason for my comment above is that, it doesn't feel like work.  I left that part of my life one and a half years ago to follow my passions in life.  Life is too short, as they say.  When my dad died, earlier then he should have, it taught me to enjoy life to its fullest and that is exactly what i'm doing.  Working with Jamie and the crew at Method is 'unbelievable' the atmosphere is fun, motivating and energetic every single day and the clients only make it better.  If you haven't walked in the door at Method, you really must do it soon.

 

Check us out!

http://www.methodpersonaltraining.com/

 

Fishing the Fraser River

I'm lucky enough to have a friend with a beautiful 'Hells Canyon' river boat.  Geoff Bamford, also our mortgage broker http://www.geoffbamford.ca takes us up the Fraser river every year for a day of salmon fishing and I must say it's the highlight to my summer.  We almost never come home empty handed and last summer was no exception.  

Here's one of our favorite salmon recipes when we get back home.

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

3/4 cup of Soy Sauce

2 TBS of vegetable or grape seed oil

2 TBS of grated fresh ginger

1 TBS grated orange zest

Handful of chopped cilantro

Mix above ingredients and cover over the salmon for at least 2 hours.  If you're grilling on the BBQ, lie meat side down for 2 minutes to allow grill marks then flip to skin side down until 'just' cooked.  Remember, overdone salmon is never any fun!!!