Monday, March 28, 2011

Foodie Adventures in Regina

Just got back from a weekend away in Regina, and rediscovered old favourites as well as checking out some new foodie fun.

My primary stop in Regina is always The Italian Star Deli. Carlos and his family are always an absolute delight, as are the amazing ingredients they offer. I dropped a pretty penny on a bag of dried porcini mushrooms, and then proceeded to pick up an amazing-sounding blue cheese and herb mustard, several funky shapes of whole grain pasta, some of their famous sandwiches for lunch later, my favourite Spanish olive oil, some Illy Espresso beans, housemade Italian sausage, and my key reason for coming, salt packed anchovies. These little delights last forever in the fridge (sealed tightly in a ziplock bag, because they stink) and supply me with constant anchovy flavour for my Caesar salad dressing, pasta sauces, tapenades, and anything else that calls for them. They are much milder and fresher tasting than anchovy paste, and you can use one at a time, with only a quick rinse and peeling away their fillets from the bones, which makes them more convenient and less wasteful than having to open a can of anchovies and only using a couple fillets.

We also stopped at a coffee shop called Sweet, which offered some delicious pastries (D was beside himself with the prospect of choosing one of their lovely tarts or cakes, which were all at eye-level. He sat remarkably still while sipping a mango smoothie and eating a portion of a lemon mini-bundt cake).

The friends we were staying with also introduced us to Siam Thai Restaurant, from which we ordered takeout. Everything was absolutely delicious and authentic. Many many more items to sample on subsequent trips to Regina! I made a quick stop at Smokin Okies BBQ to meet other friends, and managed to steal a couple bites of their delicious, smoky ribs. I was already booked for supper, so I just enjoyed having a beer out of the house and away from the kids, while hubbie and the boys had an afternoon nap. I made a mental note to revisit Smokin Okies again. I've always enjoyed their food, but have yet to sample the catfish and hushpuppies. MUST TRY THEM.

It's a good life, being a foodie and surrounded by friends who are also food lovers. *SIGH*

Sadly, the Italian sausage from the Italian Star deli was absolutely delicious, but the medium heat was still too spicy for D. I made a roasted pepper and tomato pappardelle (wide, long noodles) for supper, and roasted the sausage separately so that we could add it to our own dishes. D had some salami with his instead of the spicy sausage. With the addition of the tiny remainder of sun-dried tomato tapenade leftover from last weekend, we had a delicious pasta meal. I love being able to pull such delicious ingredients out of my fridge and pantry to make dinner on a whim.

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