Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Tin Angel Cafe

Tin Angel Cafe

Our first trip to The Tin Angel Cafe was thwarted by a sign on the door proclaiming their closure due to the co-owner's wedding. Always fans of love, we revised our lunch plan to include a stop at another less than stellar new spot in town, which shall remain nameless.

So, by the time we made it back to The Tin Angel Cafe this past weekend, we were more than eager to try the cozy new cafe offering fresh, seasonal cuisine in an unpretentious setting.

Breasola Carpaccio
Breasola Carpaccio - $8

Egg Croissant
Egg Sanwich with Manchego and Roma Tomatoes - $7
Cup of Spinach Fontina Soup

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Breasola Sandwich - $9

The menu has some easy selections, such as the arugula and sliced beets salad and a three cheese baguette. I was especially fond of the dainty teacups and saucers, which reminded me of coffee hour at my late grandmother's house--sans the dish of Brach's candy.

- K

The Tin Angel
365 West 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin Ravioli with Shallot and Sage Butter Sauce

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Halloween is just around the corner and that means everywhere you look pumpkins abound. If you are anything like me, you cannot carve a pumpkin to save your life. I am certainly not the crafty type. Unless you consider placing an empty bowl outside your door with a note that reads, " please take only one piece of candy" while you escape to a restaurant on Halloween, crafty.

Instead, we here at The Gourmand Syndrome, choose to use those beautiful plump autumn vegetables as food. If you are looking for a simple way to use your pumpkin, other than a candle holder, or a pie, then you will love this recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

Fresh Pasta Recipe-
(I use Thomas Keller's recipe, but Epicurious is a great resource if you don't have T.K.'s cookbook)

Pumpkin Filling-
1 small pie pumpkin (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 small pinch cinnamon
1 small pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

Shallot and Butter Sauce-
1 finely chopped shallot
About 10 sage leaves chopped
8 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp toasted pinenuts


Make Fresh pasta per recipe. Roll into thin sheets and set aside.

Pumpkin Filling-
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds. Chop pumpkin into 1-inch squares. Mix pumpkin, olive oil, thyme, and oregano in mixing bowl until well coated. Place on cooking sheet and cook until fork tender, turning once (approximately 30 minutes, I think). Remove from oven and allow to cool. When able to handle, slice pumpkin flesh away from skin into mixing bowl, and discard skin. Add cream, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roll the pasta very thin, Cut into strips 3 inches wide and about twelve inches long. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of Pumpkin Ravioli mix onto pasta about 3 inches apart. Brush the edges of the pasta strip, and in between the pumpkin filling, with water. Place another pasta strip over the top and gently press along the edges to seal. Carefully press the air out of the pumpkin filling sections.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add salt to boiling water (about 2 Tbsp). Add ravioli and cook for about 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Carefully remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon.

Shallot and Butter Sage Sauce-
While water is just beginning to boil heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add butter. Add Shallots and sage when butter starts to melt. Cook for about 2 minutes, while ravioli is cooking.

Place ravioli on a plate and spoon shallot and sage butter sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme, toasted pinenuts and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!


Friday, October 19, 2007

Pho Bien Hoa - Vietnamese Noodle House

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As the season transitions toward autumn and eventually into the frigid chill of winter we start to crave hot comforting food. And what is more comforting than a steaming bowl of noodle soup? Well, if you're looking for something different (and more flavorful) than the typical bowl of Campbells Noodle Soup, then look no further than a bowl of phở.

Phở, pronounced like "fuh", is a beef broth soup served with rice noodles and thin slices of beef. There are many variations, of course, such as meatballs, tendon, tripe, chicken, seafood, and even vegetarian. Each simmering bowl is typically served with a side bean sprouts, lime, basil and sliced jalapenos.

Phở Bien Hoa is tucked into a Swiss Village inspired strip mall just off of Redwood Road and 3500 South in Taylorsville. While the interior decor might be focused on the singular color of lime green, the menu has an expansive choice of over 26 variations of phở and an array of vermicelli dishes, rice dishes and appetizers.

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Crispy Fried Rolls -$2.95

These warm crispy fried rolls are addictive. Take em' for a little dip in the chili oil.

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Fresh Spring Rolls -$2.95

For something on the cool and refreshing side, try these fresh spring rolls dipped in the creamy flavorful peanut sauce. K has a certain fondness for anything dipped in peanut sauce, so this was right up her alley.

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Pho Do Bien (Seafood Noodle Soup) -$6.50

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but this is one BIG bowl of phở. Phở-real!

K is the surf, and I'm the turf in our relationship, so she couldn't refuse the bowl of steaming seafood. This bowl is served with mussels, shrimp, Krab and we think some sliced scallops. The scallops (if that's what they were) were a little overcooked for our taste (we like them almost raw), but this was the perfect bowl of comfort for K on a crisp fall day.

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Pho Chin Nam (Beef Brisket and Flank Noodle Soup) -$6.50

I had to go for the Beef Brisket and Flank. In this bowl subtle hints of cinnamon and anise aromatics intermingled with the Thai basil and hearty beef stock. The thin slices of brisket and flank retained their rich beefy flavors in this hearty, and quite sizable, bowl of soup. Of course I added all of the jalapenos and a few generous dabs of chili oil, after all, it just isn't right until your noise starts running from all the heat.

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Pho Sidecar of Bean Sprouts, Thai Basil, Jalapenos, Lime Wedges and Saw Grass

A large helping of fresh and vibrant ingredients are brought table side to help augment your soups, if you so desire.

If you are looking for affordable comfort, head on over to the west side of the valley and slurp some tasty noodle soup. I'm already looking forward to my next visit...See you there.


Pho Bien Hoa
4146 South 1785 West
Taylorsville, UT 84119
(801) 969-2515
Open 7 days a week

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

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Homemade Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

You know how they say that you shouldn't go grocery shopping while you are hungry? Well, the same should be said about watching The Food Network while working out at the gym. Last week while stepping upward to nowhere I caught an episode of Tyler's Ultimate Chicken Enchiladas. When you are starving, burning away all your energy, and a captive audience, the beautiful footage of steaming enchiladas hooks you in. I fell victim. I couldn't wait to cook up a bubbling casserole dish of chicken enchiladas with fresh and tangy homemade tomatillo sauce.

The recipe can be found on The Food Network site. I didn't actually read it (it looks a little long) and since I'd seen it all done on T.V. anyway, I just used the web site for the ingredient list. Check it out yourself, and let me know what you think. The zesty Tomatillo sauce in these enchiladas dazzles the taste buds, though the bubbling cheese has given me cause to get back to the gym. And so the cycle continues...


Monday, October 15, 2007

Gourmand Syndrome Turns One


It is hard to believe that it has been one year since we created this blog. Since last October we've done everything from a Michelin-starred restaurant tour of Amsterdam to chowing down at taco carts in Salt Lake City. It inspires us to see visitors from locations as far as Vietnam visiting The Gourmand Syndrome, as it reinforces how passion for food is one of those common connections that everyone, regardless of borders, can share.

Tonight we celebrated The Gourmand Syndrome's one year anniversary with a bottle of bubbly from Oregon. Argyle's sparkling brut is 48% pinot noir, 52% chardonnay, and 100% wonderful memories of our past life in Portland. What better way to toast a beautiful year gone by, and set the stage for a delicious year to come?!

Check out this slide show of some of our culinary highlights from The Gourmand Syndrome's first year:

Happy Eating.

- K and J