Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

 

Tomatoes originated in the desert regions along the west coast of South America.

Their appearance was comparable to an over-sized

grape or berry and was known as a tomatl which is Aztec for “plump fruit”.

Tomatoes were later domesticated in Mexico where it was eventually subjugated by early European explorers.

Compared to today’s domesticated varieties the tomato has grown to immense proportions as it is

considered to be the second most consumed vegetable in North America even though it is botanically classified as a fruit.

Hothouse tomatoes grown in Ontario are pesticide ansd GMO free!

Hothouse tomatoes grown in Ontario are pesticide and GMO free!

Tomatoes contain huge amounts of glutamic acid and sulphur compounds.

These properties are more commonly found in meats and give tomatoes their beefy flavour.

This makes pairing tomatoes with meat a natural choice and they are often used to give vegetarian preparations a meaty flavour component without the meat.

There are other factors that affect the flavour of tomatoes. One being the different components found inside the tomato.

A tomato is made up of four separate types of tissue.

The cuticle or skin which is often removed before cooking surrounds the fruit wall which contains the most sugar and amino acids. The fruit wall encapsulates the seed jelly which is high in citric acid.

In the center of the tomato we find the pith.

Remove any one of these four parts of a tomatoes anatomy and you will change the overall flavour of a recipe that calls for tomatoes.  As well tomatoes that are left to ripen on the vine naturally contain more sugars and acid compared to store bought tomatoes that are picked green and forced to ripen during transport by spraying them with ethylene gas.

The month of March is when we can see Ontario hothouse grown tomatoes arrive in the produce aisles. Ontario is home to about 65% of Canada’s hothouse based agriculture. Most of Ontario’s greenhouses or hothouses use beneficial insects to control pests making most hothouse vegetables pesticide-free. Also it is notable that Hot House Producers belong to the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Association which assures us that no genetically modified plants grown in Ontario greenhouses and the tomatoes are vine ripened without chemicals..

Ontario hothouse growers produce most of Canada's hothouse foods in a sustainable environment

Ontario hothouse growers produce most of Canada’s hothouse foods in a sustainable environment

Most importantly how a tomato tastes depends on how we store them. Tomatoes should never be refrigerated as their fresh flavour is destroyed by cold temperatures. When a tomato is subjected to temperatures below 13 °c they suffer damage to their internal components. This results in tomatoes that have a mealy texture and loss of flavor due to cold-damaged flavor producing enzymes.

Grab some Ontario grown hothouse tomatoes and try cooking them in the following recipe as their firm constitution makes them great for frying.

 

Pan Fried Parmesan Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

3 – 4 hothouse tomatoes, sliced 1/2″ thick

¼ cup minced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

3 tbsp. cooking oil

 

Method:

Set up a breading station using three bowls; one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs and in the third one combine together the breadcrumbs and cheese.

Dip the tomato slices one at a time in the flour, dusting off the excess. Then dip it in egg letting excess drip off. And then dip the tomato into the breading mixture. Repeat until all slices are breaded.

Fry the breaded tomato slices in a preheated pan over medium heat in the cooking oil with the onions and garlic for about a minute or two per side, until they are golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve immediately.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Comments are closed.



reservation
Chef Brian for Hire
The Spice Co.