Saturday, November 20, 2010

NOtaBLE - the restaurant

Have you ever been somewhere and had that perfect dish...One that you could eat for the rest of eternity? I've found my weakness at Chef Michael Noble's restaurant NOtaBLE. Seriously, where do I even begin?

Since our very first visit, it has become our most favorite restaurant to eat at. The place is hip, and happening...and who can resist all the feel good gourmet comfort food? It's also a place where I can safety say that I've eaten (and drank) my way through the constantly revolving seasonal menu several times over.

I'm salivating. I just can't help it. Even the thought of my next visit makes me hungry. Feeling...a bit like Pavlov's dog but I honestly can't help it. Besides, it's not every day that you can say that you have eaten food cooked by the first Canadian chef who competed against Iron Chef Morimoto on Iron Chef Japan (Episode 724 - Battle Potato).

Salmon Hash - the dish that started our "love affair" with NOtaBLE.

We found out about NOtaBLE via our friends Joanne and Jeff (Hi guys!), and now we are utterly and completely hooked. We've have laughed, cried, partied and even opened and closed the place on one occassion. Really, I should just let the photos speak for themselves. Yum! 

** Note: I'm normally too much of a glutton to remember to take photos before I tuck into the dishes (hence only one of the three tasting menus I've tried so far have actually made it up).
Butter Poached Venison. OMG ~ Enough said!
Chef, may we please have this on the menu all the time? Please please please??
AAA 28 day aged rib-eye - 12 oz

Spragg Farms Pochetta (available on Sundays)
Naturally-raised Chicken (available on Saturdays)

The NOtaBLE Burger inspiration - Wild Boar
Whole Grilled Sea Bream, lemon, thyme, buerre rouge
12 hour-braised & rotisserie-finished Galloway beef sandwich, mustard slaw

Market Menu

And finally, my favorite market menu yet - 1.5 pounds of amazing lobster! This menu was created in celebration of NJ's father who was a lobster fisherman. I have to say that I'm normally not a big lobster fan (I prefer crab)...but this was hands down THE BEST lobster I have every eaten. Look....I even remembered to snap all four courses of this one :)

 If you live in Calgary and you haven't been are missing out. Seriously. Go already.



Friday, November 5, 2010

My Halloween pumpkin turned into something delicious...Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup!

Each year in my neighbourhood, a local realtor and her team does a food drive for our city's food bank...and in exchange for a bag of non-perishables, gives out a pumpkin. In my quest to find another use for the annual Halloween Pumpkin (other than just for a jack-o-lantern or pumpkin pie), I decided on making a Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup.

It combines my love of Asian flavors, with the creaminess of pumpkin and it also gives me another reason to use my all-time favorite condiment - Sriracha. I think it's the perfect dish for fall...comfort food for a chilly evening (plus, it give me an excuse to be in the kitchen...I'm so busted!)

DH gave it two thumbs up...he noted that the heat is subtle, but creeps up on you after the first couple of slurps.

Creamy Coconut Pumpkin Soup


3 to 4 shallots, peeled
1 1/4 pounds peeled pumpkin (or butternut squash)
2 tablespoons oil
2 cups canned coconut milk
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1-2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 tablespoon Thai Red curry paste
a couple chunks of rock sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (or to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (or to taste)
Black pepper
minced green scallion (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Peel the pumpkin and set aside the seeds (these are great for roasting later). Cut the pumpkin into 1/2 inch cubes. You should have around 4 1/2 to 5 cups.
  3. Toss the cubed pumpkin and the peeled shallot with 2 tbsp oil, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes.
  4. Place the shallots, pumpkin cubes, coconut milk, broth, cilantro leaves, Thai red curry paste, sugar and kaffir lime leaves in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the salt and simmer over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the fish sauce and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or fish sauce if desired.
  7. Remove Kaffir lime leaves.
  8. Blend with immersion blender.
  9. Let the soup stand for an hour (it tastes better if you do this step, but you can always eat it right away if you're greedy), reheat just before serving.
  10. Serve - grinding black pepper generously over soup.
  11. Garnish with a sprinkle of minced scallion greens if desired (I used a sprig of cilantro instead)