The Tomato

Oct 12 2016

keep on trucking

This week’s episode of Chopped Canada features Levi Biddlecombe of Attila the HUNgry in an all-food truck final. Chef Biddlecombe is the sixth Chopped competitor from Edmonton and, the youngest ever on the show. His food truck days may be behind him soon, as he is currently negotiating on a turnkey space downtown. That’s all chef will tell us right now, except that if it works out, the 60-seat space with a patio and a spacious kitchen will be open later this year. “Truly large,” he says, not just big to a guy who is accustomed to cooking in a truck. Chopped Canada, Saturday, 7pm.

Levi Biddlecombe of Attila the Hungry

Levi Biddlecombe of Attila the HUNgry

dine out do good

Get ready to dine out for healthy food for all on October 19. The Common and Rge Rd are joining 63 other restaurants in 15 Canadian cities who will donate the proceeds of dinner service to Community Food Centres Canada (the Jasper Place Wellness Centre here in Edmonton). Last year, the event raised $200,000 across the country. Visit to make a reservation.


so long burgers, hello fried chicken

Chefs Andrew Cowan and Matt Phillips have found a home for their popular fried chicken pop-up Northern Chicken — the former Relish Burger 10704 124 Street. Opening soon. In the meantime catch the duo on the Tomato cooking stage at the Edmonton Fall Home Show.


cocktail combat at the fall home show

Mixologists Tyler Gushaty (North 53) and Brandon Baker (Have Mercy) battle it out for cocktail supremacy Friday, October 21, 6:30-8:30pm. Cheer on your fave bar keep, test out the winning cocktail, enjoy a libation at the cash bar or be one of 50 in the audience to sample drinks and plates from both restos, tickets:


Priest-Strangler (Strozzapreti) Bread And Spinach Dumplings

Adapted from a recipe in Fiori Di Zucca by Valentina Harris.

Depending on what part of Italy you are in delicious dumplings made from bread and greens are called strozzapreti or strangolapreti. It was a frugal way to fill up the priest who came a little too often to eat your wife’s pasta, or so the story goes. It’s key to not handle gnocchi too much as they can become tough. Her method of shaping the gnocchi (in the instructions below) works well. Any greens will do, swiss chard or kale, or a mixture of beet leaves and other greens.

5-7 slices stale bread, torn into bite-sized chunks
2 c milk
3-4 c nettle leaves, cleaned
1 egg + 2 egg yolks, beaten
2 T light cream (or use the milk from the soaked bread)
1½ c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
¼ T freshly-grated nutmeg
kosher or sea salt and freshly-cracked pepper
⅓ c flour
½ c butter

Put the bread in a large bowl, pour the milk over and leave to soak until soft. Squeeze the bread as dry as possible with your hands and leave to one side. At the same time, steam the nettles in a large saucepan until tender, then drain. Squeeze out as much water as possible, then chop finely or blitz in a food processor.

Put the nettles in a large mixing bowl and stir in the egg and egg yolks, then the cream or milk. Add the bread and half the cheese, season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper, then combine.

To shape and test the gnocchi: To test the mixture for consistency, wet the inside of a small glass with water then lightly dust with flour. Do not over-flour or the gnocchi will be rubbery. Drop a tablespoon of the mixture into the glass and shake the glass, tipping it to shape the mixture into gnocchi. Repeat with another tablespoon of the mixture.

Bring a small saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water—they should float to the surface in about 2 minutes and hold their shape. If not, adjust the remaining mixture by adding more egg or a little flour, or both, and extra salt and pepper to taste.

When the correct texture is achieved, continue shaping the remaining mixture in the glass, re-flouring as necessary. Tip the dumplings onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, spacing the gnocchi well apart. Chill until required.

Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Working in small batches, slip the gnocchi into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and keep warm in the oven. Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour it over the gnocchi, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

Serves 4-6.

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