A Pair Of Gourmands

by - Story: 11739

She says:

Tomatoes are the fruit of love, some say because of its heart shape, but in fact the term “love apple” goes back to Biblical times. They are reputed to be a relative of the mandrake plant, which is known as “the love plant” for its aphrodisiac qualities. I don’t know if I can say tomatoes have ever caused any of my romantic encounters, but this time of year I do love having them in the garden.

Having grown up on the prairies where tomatoes are a bit tricky to grow, I think of them as a decadent treat to have available anytime I want. I used to have to water the tomato plants in the garden with ice cream buckets full of water every morning when I was a kid, and the results never seemed to match the work!

We have six different kinds of tomatoes to choose from now, so that adds to the fun, and to the inspiration when we cook with them. I like the sweet grape tomatoes in a salad with peppery arugula, and the Italian tomatoes are wonderful with bocconcini and basil leaves. We have green zebra tomatoes as well, and they are fun in salsa or sliced for a sandwich with some sea salt. I will also admit maybe my prairie roots are why I like green tomatoes as well – the shorter, cooler summer meant that we always had green fruit at the end of the garden season. I like them in chutney, but my favourite way is coated with a touch of cornmeal and a pinch of herbs de Provence, and then pan-fried.

He says:

When you think of it, tomatoes are one of the most versatile foods around. Whether, raw or cooked, fresh or canned, tomatoes are in so many dishes.

As a kid, my grand mother had a garden and it was forbidden to go in without asking… So, of course, my cousin and I would crawl like commandos in the jungle and steal small tomatoes and cucumbers without getting caught. There was this one time where she caught us, but may she rest in peace, Gamma was not very fast on foot! To this day, I still like to go in our garden and eat tomatoes right there, raw without anything else.

If you want to cook something fun this summer, try this recipe Goat cheese Stuffed Tomatoes. Raw or cooked, the result is really nice, and it does not take a culinary diplomat to be able to do it at home.

Chef Martin’s Tip 25: Convection oven, worth it or not?

I say if you are going to invest into a good quality stove, pay attention to your oven below.

Often the salesperson will feed you lots of you-know-what about how great the fan moves the air inside the oven so it bakes evenly. Yes, it is a nice feature, but 8 out of 10 times, you won’t get even baking and you still will have to turn your tray around for an evenly-baked pizza, just to give you an example.

The extra few dollars are worth it because the fan will help to cook food quicker, and will makes your cakes fluffier. Roasted potatoes in a convection oven come out really nice, but they also turn out really nice in a regular oven too.

So, if budget is not a problem, go for it, but if you are choosing between a convection oven feature or a good functional sink, go for the sink - you will use it more often.

“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach Martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

These are the stores where I shop, go visit them and tell them I sent you...

Hooked on Seafood, 1951 Harvey Ave, Kelowna 860-2541
Discover Wines, 2080 C Springfield Rd, Kelowna 868-3990
Matterhorn Bakery, 103 - 3640 Gosset Rd, Westbank 768-3302
L&D Meat, 103 - 2365 Gordon St, Kelowna 717-1997
Quality Greens, 3717 A Old Okanagan, Westbank 707-1420
Valoroso Italian Market, 1467 Sutherland Rd, Kelowna 860-3631
Kitchen Niche, Orchard Park mall, Kelowna 860-3637

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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