The Tomato

country drives and long table dinners

Savour local food and drinks and connect with producers at Locavore Lacombe on the Lacombe Memorial Centre’s front lawn, 1pm-4pm, Saturday, July 23. Producers include Blindman Brewery, Rangeland Meats, Bison, Rock Ridge Dairy, Billyco Junction, Gull Valley Greenhouse along with talent from the Red Deer College Culinary Program, Leto’s Steakhouse and the Red Boar Smokery. Tickets, $25, https://kiosk.eztix.co/kiosk-optimised/201378.

Locovore Lacombe ends at 4pm leaving you plenty of time to get to Markerville for ’Appy Hour held in the Creamery courtyard, followed by the Taste of Markerville Long Table Dinner, $125/p,http://www.historicmarkerville.com.

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get up to a little monkey business

Enjoy five delicious courses with wine at Monkey Business, Friday, July 22, 6:30pm at the Glass Monkey Gastropub (5842 111 Street, http://www.theglassmonkey.ca/ 780-760-2228) Tickets: $89/p all in, emailjanine@theglassmonkey.ca. Maybe it’s the casual atmosphere, or the well-priced wine list and the easy to like menu; what can I say, it’s always a great time at the Glass Monkey.

Cold brew coffee gets a nitro fix

Earth’s General Store (9605 – 82 Avenue, 780-439-8725 and 10150 – 104 Street, 780-757-3274,http://earthsgeneralstore.ca) is making cold brew coffee. This long and gentle process is said to conserve more flavour and extract less acid and bitter oils. The beans used are certified Fair Trade and organic of course. The other cool thing about Earth’s General cold brew is that it contains nitrogen, the same substance that’s added to Guinness to give it that lovely creamy foam right out of the can. Also new are vegan affogato and Vietnamese coffee. Now all we need is some heat in which to enjoy these icy summery drinks.

The nitro cold brew is available at the downtown store on the 4st Promenade only.

girls just want to drink scotch

Ladies! Develop your Scotch palate in a relaxed setting. The Keg n Cork Liquor Company (3845 99 Street,http://www.kegncork.com, 780-461-0191) presents the Women Only Scotch Tasting featuring Glendronach, Thursday, August 4, 7:30- 9:30pm. Tickets, $35/person, eventbrite.ca.

portugal and spain on sale!

Unwined’s worldwide wine sale continues with the wines of Spain and Portugal at 20 per cent off until July 23. Check for bargains at both locations, downtown (#203, 10205 101 Street, Edmonton City Centre) and in St Albert (2, 512 St Albert Trail).

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31 days of riesling

If the last Riesling you tried came out of a bottle shaped like a cat it’s time to give German Riesling another taste. Elegant cool-climate, light-bodied, low-alcohol, crisp and juicy wines from the Mosel (especially) are just the ticket. Have with grilled salmon, popcorn, Vietnamese spot prawn salad – pretty much anything goes better with Riesling. I love our thrilling Okanagan bottlings, but let’s give the originals an opportunity to strut their stuff. The Blue Chair Cafe is taking part in 31 days of German Riesling as is Color de Vino. You could even win a trip to Berlin! http://31daysgermanriesling.ca/. Wondering where to start? You can’t go wrong with wines by Andreas Bender.

vietnamese spot prawn salad

Mid-summer is BC spot prawn season. Medium sized and slightly sweet, these as-local-as-we’re-going-to-get shrimp are complemented by the sweet/hot flavours of the dressing. Steam or grill the shrimp, either way they will be delicious. Serve with Bender Riesling.

Vietnamese Dressing

Whisk together 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 minced bird chilies, seeds removed, 2 T finely minced ginger, 4 T fish sauce, juice of one lime, 2 T water, 2 T sugar and 2 t peanut or canola oil until emulsified. Reserve. Keeps for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Salad

½ c Vietnamese dressing (recipe above)
24 spot prawns, cooked
1 t sesame oil
1 sml pkg glass noodles
1 c sugar snap peas or snow peas
½ c bean sprouts
3 green onions, chopped fine
½ c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
½ c chopped peanuts (optional)

Marinate the shrimp in the dressing for no more than 10 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the noodles in boiling water according to packet instructions. Once re-hydrated, refresh the noodles in cold water, then drain and cover. Put the sugar snaps and bean sprouts into a colander and cover with boiling water, then rinse with cold water to refresh and keep their colour. Drain well.

Fold marinated shrimp in with the drained noodles, scallions, peas and bean sprouts. Dress to taste. Toss with cilantro and serve.

Sprinkle with peanuts if desired, and drizzle with more limejuice. Serves 4-6.

* Fish sauce, called nam pla, nuoc nam, or patis, can be found in any Chinatown (97 street) grocery store or at T&T supermarkets.

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