twitch @ oz kafe

Last week was Oz Night.  Oz Kafe hosts the most wonderful night of the month … and mother of pearl … was this one GREAT!

Twitch (aka Michael Portigal – remember he was on an episode of must.love.food. and he’s the one with the beard in the picture) and his crew created 4 clever dishes … each one full of flavour and texture.  Some I loved more than others … which happens sometimes right?  I like to think it’s because two of the dishes blew my socks off (well I was probably wearing flip-flops … but you know what I mean).

The evening started with the mushu pork.

Oh my goodness gracious.

I’d just like to say … it was my absolute favourite.  A buckwheat tortilla shell topped with julienned cucumbers, diced watermelon, seaweed, and then finished off with thinly sliced pork tongue and a good dollop of hoisin sauce.

This is everything that is good in food.  A little salty.  A little sweet.  Crunchy and smooth.

I LOVED IT!

The second dish was the cured mackerel.  Pan-fried mackerel was paired with a deconstructed kimchi (ever had fiddleheads in your kimchi???? I didn’t think so!), and a pillowy soft taro gnocchi.

The third dish was the wonderfully inventive black rice porridge.  I have to say … this was the dish that surprised me the most.  When I read it on the menu … chamomile, lamb, strawberries, mint, pistachio, and black rice … I kinda wondered … what they heck am I going to be eating???

It was … delicious.  All the components were good … but I did enjoy it best when I took a bite of EVERYTHING at once.  Yep.  A forkful of lamb, strawberries, mint, and black rice … absolutely delightful.

Such a nice surprise.

The meal was capped off with desert.  A twist on lemon meringue.

Twitch paired pascale’s semi-fredo with some salty lemon curd and a golden beet purée and a sesame crisp.  It was light and fresh.  I have to admit … I’m still not sure how I felt about the golden beet purée and semi-fredo combo … but that’s just me.  When I spoke to my friend Sarah – she thought it was brilliant and perfectly balanced.

Just looking at these pictures makes me wish I could grab some more of that mushu pork … Twitch … I really really really think you should start making those to-go.  They are DEE-LISH. A million sighs of happiness.

must.love.lemons.

I think at this point in our relationship we all know how I feel about lemons.

I love them.  I don’t just heart them … I.LOVE.LEMONS.  They make me happy.

Which is why … I very obviously could not do must.love.food. and not include an episode about lemons.

I found some other folks who love lemons … almost as much as I do.

Marysol.  You all know her.  And if you don’t actually know her … you know of her … or you know of Edgar … the greatest little café around … only to be joined by Odile … it’s equally stellar little sister.

I heart Marysol and her lemon beignets.

I actually believe that Marysol’s beignets are the stuff happiness is made from.  Totally, ridiculiously cheesey.  But oh so true.

Then there’s Michael. aka Twitch.  I called him Twitch during the filming of the show.  I couldn’t help it.

So I figured when I apporached Michael about being on the show that he would show me how to make his lemon poppyseed pancakes.  He did.

Plus he showed me how to make maple poached eggs.  Amazing? Heck YA!

We also have this bonus clip of him teaching me how he makes his grapefruit hollandaise sauce.  Equally amazing.  You’ll have noticed … I wasn’t whisking quite fast enough … it’s something I’m gonna have to work on me thinks…

Add to all of that some big boy bacon soaked in maple syrup … which is … (as said on the show) … “it’s like bacon went to heaven and was happy” … whatever that means!

This entire episode makes me happy.  I loved watching it.  I loved filming both segments.  I love love love lemons.  And Marysol and Michael too.

Remember to tune in to reruns on Wednesdays at 8 am and 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays at 1 pm.  RogersTV channel 22.

must.love.food

I have a new little project on the go.

This is a sneak peak.

I promise more details soon.

I will tell you though …

I heart ALL of these people.  They make me happy.  And so does their food.

must. love. food.