La Boulangerie Boul’Mich In Pinecrest

Miss G. invited me to this bright and beautiful bakery in Pinecrest, close to where she lives. Little Chicken had to tag along because I did not want to leave her home alone. This Boulangerie Boul’Mich is the 4th and newest location; the others are in Key Biscayne, Aventura and Coral Way.

The menu was vast, with breakfast and lunch items, including sandwiches, pasta, and a soup of the day. All breakfast dishes came with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and a cup of American coffee, which was marvelous.

We started out with Smoked Salmon Tartare – diced smoked salmon, avocado, scallions, coriander and citrus dressing. This dish was charming, with lots of personality and character. The avocado added creaminess and depth of flavor. It came with a big salad on the side, with a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Smoked Salmon Tartare

The Key West Omelette was surprising – it was not a regular omelet even though it looked like one from the outside. It was made with Norwegian salmon, sautéed onions, and capers. Most omelets are mostly egg with some filling, this one was mostly salmon, with some egg. We are talking tons of pretty and fresh salmon stuffed in a thin layer of egg. It was magical.

Key West Omelette

Little Chicken had the French Toast “Pain Perdu” with strawberries and bananas. I barely got to taste this as she latched on to this dish with a passion. I got a tiny bite, and it was fluffy and delicious.

Omelette & French Toast

French Toast “Pain Perdu”

La Boulangerie Boul’Mich also offers a variety of pastries and desserts that are prominently on display in order to tempt you. Boul’Mich, by the way, is a nickname given to Boulevard St. Michel in Paris, and even though I did not get a French vibe here, it definitely had an aura of simple elegance, an energetic atmosphere, and contemporary décor. The service was also outstanding – our waitress always approached the table with a massive smile.

It was already full of people when we arrived
Miss G. looking at the menu
Breakfast orders come with a cup of American coffee and orange juice
Pastries galore!

La Boulangerie Boul’Mich Pinecrest

8283 SW 124th St,

Pinecrest, FL 33156

(786) 701-2344

http://laboulangerieusa.com/

 

Is Ketchup The Secret of Happiness?

Mommy adores ketchup; it is almost an addiction for her. She puts on on everything from scrambled eggs to macaroni; cooking would be unfathomable without the addition of this ruby-colored condiment. I always thought it was strange – this all encompassing obsession with gloopy tomatoes, that is, until recently when I started adding it to marinades and curries.

My mother always makes fun of me saying that I put curry powder in everything I cook, well, she does the same with ketchup – she puts it on eggs, sausages,  adds it to stews, uses it as a sauce for rice and pasta. The only things she does not use ketchup for is for cake and ice cream.

Sometimes, when you make fun of people for whatever reason, you end up acquiring some of their habits. Little by little, I was pulled into the world of ketchup, adding a dash of it, almost involuntarily, to many of my dishes. Mommy won, she was right – it does tend to balance out flavors and make food happy.

What is ketchup, though? What’s in it? Ketchup originated in China and was made famous in America by Henry J. Heinz. It is usually made of tomatoes, sugar, salt, vinegar, and spices. Heinz is still the most popular brand in this country, but it has an incredible amount of sugar, that is why I am currently using Sir Kensington’s Ketchup, which has 50% less sugar and 33% less sodium, or so they say.

Ketchup is now precious to me, using only a few squeezes at a time – it adds a special savory-sweet touch to cooked dishes. It is not only for hot dogs and hamburgers anymore. There is one red line though, where ketchup is unacceptable – no steak with ketchup for me. Ever.

Photo by iStockphoto

If you ever decide to make ketchup at home, below is a healthy version by The Vegan Corner.

INGREDIENTS

14oz tinned tomatoes

13oz fresh tomatoes

1 oz shallots

1 clove garlic

1 oz granulated sugar

¼ tsp mustard seeds

1 clove

¼ tsp ground allspice

¼ tsp ground ginger

1 oz red bell pepper

1 pinch cinnamon

⅛ tsp cayenne pepper

⅛ tsp sweet paprika

2 tbsp apple vinegar

¼ tsp salt

To thicken the ketchup

⅛ tsp agar agar powder

1 tbsp water (to disperse the agar)

Finka Table & Tap Restaurant in Miami

 

A friend of mine recommended Finka Table & Tap, it looked good, but I thought that it was far away from home. When I found out that it was less than fifteen minutes away from where I live, there was no time to waste; we had to run to this restaurant and try the appetizing offerings on the menu.

Chef Eileen Andrade created Finka Table & Tap. She thought that Kendall needed something different and took it upon herself to put together a chic and unique restaurant in the area. Chef Andrade fused Cuban, Korean and Peruvian cuisines (her three favorites), and created a menu that is both familiar, unusual, fascinating, and always delicious. The bar offers impressive and refreshing cocktails, and craft beers on tap.

We went there on two occasions, so we sampled a lot of dishes, twelve, to be precise, and we were enchanted with all of them.

Welcome chips upon arrival

Tamal en Cazuela –  Pulled Spicy Pork,  Scallions

Tamal en Cazuela

Arroz con Pollo Fritters (Chicken & Rice Fritters) – filled with  Mozzarella, Pico de Gallo and Salsa Huancaina

Arroz con Pollo Fritters

Tostones Topped With Vaca Frita-  Pico de Gallo, Chicharron Crumble and Cilantro Aioli

Tostones Topped With Vaca Frita

Vermicelli Noodle Salad –  Watermelon Radish, Red  Onions,  Bean Sprouts, Cilantro, Nuts,  Kimchee Vinaigrette, served with Churrasco

Vermicelli Noodle Salad with Churrasco

Lomo Saltado Fried Rice –  Eggs, Tomato & Onion , Aji Amarillo

Lomo Saltado Fried Rice

Hawaiian Chicken Flatbread – 3 Cheese Sauce, Pineapple,  Bacon,    Scallions

Hawaiian Chicken Flatbread

Grilled Fresh Yellowtail Snapper Filet –  Israeli Couscous, Aji  Amarillo, Beurre Blanc Sauce

Grilled Fresh Yellowtail Snapper Filet

Angus Churrasco – Sweet Potato Mash, Truffled Green Beans,  Asian Chimichurri

Angus Churrasco

Bison Burger – Avocado Spread, Ponzu Arugula, White Cheddar,    Spicy Ginger Mayo, Fried Egg,  Truffled Potato Wedges

Bison Burger

Cookie Skillet – Baked chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Cookie Skillet

Cuban Flan with Oreo Crumble

Cuban Flan

Banana Bread with Vanilla Ice Cream

Banana Bread with Vanilla Ice Cream

Best lemonade ever!

Making our lemonades at the bar
Cafe Americano

Great decor
Colorful tiles in the bathroom
Open Kitchen

Chef Eileen Andrade – Photo by Finka Table & Tap

Finka Table & Tap is a real gem in West Kendall, my new go-to place when in the mood for comfort, homey, yet sophisticated food.

Finka Table & Tap

14690 SW 26th St

Miami, FL 33175

(305) 227-8818

http://www.finkarestaurant.com

Sunday Market

Today I needed limes to season chicken, so I went to the market, that was an unusual move as it was devil-hot and air conditioning is always a priority. There was another reason behind this insane excursion – the deep need to take pictures in daylight.

The weather has been atrocious lately- hot, humid, sauna-like. Rain is predicted starting on Tuesday until next weekend, the cameras cannot go out in the rain, so I will be stuck looking out the window, wondering what a sunny day looks like.

I went to Placita Los Girasoles where the produce is always fresh. The limes were perfect – soft and chunky, full of juice: the chicken will love swimming in this pool of sour deliciousness.

On the way out, I had to get a Tamal Criollo, one of the best in this area. This unctuous corn and pork mixture, wrapped in a corn husk, hit the spot in many, many good ways.

And that is how I spent my Sunday. Have a great week!

The lovely Tamal Criollo

Placita Los Girasoles
15970 SW 177th Ave, Miami, FL 33187
No phone
No website