Lately, cooking lunch consisted of a choice between chicken legs and a whole chicken. I usually bake them in the oven – all I need to prepare is the marinade. This one uses mustard and thyme.
Chicken liver is not a favorite item on the menu in Calgary. Maybe it’s because people feel internal organs – such as liver, heart, kidney – are somewhat disgusting. Well, I disagree – some can be very tasty, and although you may not want to make them a permanent staple in your diet (high in cholesterol), you may still want to enjoy them every now and then to diversify your menu.
Gaucho Brazilian Barbeque has recently moved to a new location, across from Chinook Mall (5920 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary). If you’ve been to the old place, you’ll appreciate the new design: urban and chic. They’ve also updated the menu, so you now have more of a choice (although it’s quite debatable whether you actually needed more choice in this restaurant…).
For those who have no idea what Gaucho is, then get ready for the ultimate meat experience. For $35/ person, you get to eat as much meat and salad as you want and can eat (limit of 2 hours).
But Gaucho is more than simply meat: it is a meat experience. All the meats – and you’ll sample beef, pork, lamb and chicken – are freshly BBQ-ed. The staff comes with huge meat skewers at your table, and cuts a little bit of everything for you.
I wouldn’t know what to recommend first: the beef or the chicken wrapped in bacon? The pork or the tender lamb? The only thing I found too heavy for my taste was a type of sausage. Otherwise, the salads were great, the polenta and fries treats they brought at our table were really tasty, and the drinks menu seemed to please everyone.
For two people, the dinner bill came at $110 with a half bottle of wine, one sambuca and a soft drink. If you didn’t go to Gaucho’s before, it’s really worth trying it out!
For me, this dish has two main advantages: it’s easy and you can make a huge pot and refrigerate it for a week. You can also add more veggies – for instance, you can replace the potatoes (or one of the potato layers) with eggplants. For the basic version, you’ll need: 400 gr minced meat (I use a mixture of pork and beef, but if you want the healthy option, go for chicken or turkey), 6 large potatoes, 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 3-4 tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato sauce, 2 carrots (grated), cooking wine, oil, salt, pepper, basil, parsley (plus any other spices you like with your meat).
Stuffed peppers and tomatoes are more easier to make than it may sound. You’ll need: 3 bell peppers, 3 large tomatoes, 3 Roma tomatoes, 1 onion, 2-3 garlic cloves, 300-400 gr. ground meat (I prefer a mixture of pork and beef, but it works well with any meat or, if vegetarian, with rice and mushrooms), basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, oil and chicken/ vegetable stock (if you don’t have stock, just dissolve 1 maggie cube in water or use vegeta).
Organic, free range, naturally raised… New categories for consumers concerned with genetically modified foods, growth hormones and antibiotics in their meat. I confess to getting a bit lost here. So, here’s a list of meat stores in Calgary and the labels they claim for their meat. It’s a list in progress, so feel free to suggest stores I’ve missed and to check it again and again over time…
A recipe I got from Lucullian delights. Tried it yesterday, using boneless chicken thighs. It is quite easy to make, and you don’t need too many ingredients: 1 red onion, oil and balsamic vinegar, and thyme. A very nice taste (a bit sweet from the onion, with a nice thyme flavor) – quite a good alternative if you are bored with your usual way of cooking chicken.