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Cookbook Collective / A1 Bodega

Cookbook Collective / A1 Bodega

We are so fortunate to have such an amazing food scene right here in our very city. At any given time you could throw a stone with your eyes closed and have it hit a different and delicious restaurant. And something that is even better is when a great restaurant serves great coffee! We love partnering with amazing restaurants who love good coffee, and the A1 restaurant group is one of the best! You can find our coffee being served A1 Cafe and Cantina and you can pick up a bag of whole bean in their Bodega! We highly recommend making a point to hit up every one of the A1 restaurants and their Bodega (which is full of some really amazing products from local businesses!). 

We asked Andrea Robinson, Operations Manager of A1, to share a recipe and a little bit about herself with us: 

Andrea Robinson graduated from SAIT’s Hotel and Restaurant Management course in 2003, and went on to work for River Café as a hostess – leaving as the General Manager seven years later. Over the course of her career in hospitality, Robinson has developed a serious passion for wine while working at several other prestigious Calgary shops and restaurants, including Metrovino, Teatro, and Vin Room. In her role as owner and general manager for Two Penny and the Tea House, she continued to share her philosophy that vino and impeccable service enhances all experiences. In her new role as Operation Manager of A1 she continues to challenge her love of service and the art of food and beverage. 

What are you inspired by?

My mom would make this dish for our family and it would be a family affair as we would all gather around the kitchen table to make dumplings. I remember lots of laughter and pure excitement as this was one of my favourite dishes growing up as kid, knowing what was about to go down. 

What does community mean to you?

Community means actively engaging with others in your community. I love Calgary's inner city neighbourhoods as there are so many locally owned shops, boutique fitness gyms and restaurants where you can easily start a conversation and build meaningful connections. I try and ride my bike everywhere so biking friendly communities are the best and dog watching of course.

What is your coffee order? 

Haha so I don't drink a ton of coffee. I love Monogram's matcha latte's with house made nut milk. 

Honestly, maccha latte with nut mylk is one of my go-to drinks as well! Great choice :) 

Do you have a favourite food to eat while drinking coffee? 

When I do drink coffee a simple pastry is ideal and if not food that ultimate moody playlist.  Think Four tet, Bonobo, Tourist vibes. 

What is your favourite meal, cuisine or snack? 

Japanese food!!!! I eat sushi at least once a week. 

Is there any type of cuisine or dish that you've always wanted to learn to make? 

In the movie Big Night in the final scene they make this incredible looking dish called Timpano. If you have time look up that final scene but make sure you have snacks around as you will be hungry watching it. 

What is your inspiration behind this recipe? 

This recipe is made with simple ingredients but the labour involved is long so to me it symbolizes love and care. The saying 'many hands make light work' shows in this dish. It's a dish that is fun to make with others. 

 

RECIPE // Vegetarian Gyoza

Ingredients: 

  • 1lb of mixed fresh mushrooms chopped up super fine  (like Shitake, crimini and oyster but i've made it with all different types)
  • 1 large napa cabbage chopped super fine almost shredded
  • 1 full bunch of green onions chopped (save the whites for the sauce)
  • 1 package firm tofu, pressed then crumbled 
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1 package of dumpling wrappers (any Asian market has these in the freezer section)
  • 3 Tablespoons of oil ( I use coconut oil)
  • 2 Teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Soya sauce 
  • Hot chilli sauce (I use A1 chili oil) Insider tip this is the old famous Two penny hot sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Pepper

Method:

Filling//

  1. 1. Heat up a large frying pan or wok with 1 Tablespoon of Coconut oil, stir fry the mushroom until half cooked. They will shrink a lot!
  2. Add the cabbage. You might have to do this in phases as it seems like a lot of cabbage, but It will sweat down.
  3. When all the cabbage is incorporated add the tofu, ginger, green onion, 2 tablespoons of soya sauce, 1 teaspoon of Sesame oil and a generous amount of black pepper. 
  4. Stir fry up for about 5 mins. Take off heat and let cool. (Since it's been cold i've been putting my mix right outside on my patio to cool down.

Sauce//

  • In a small mason jar add :The remainder of the soy sauce
  • The remainder of the sesame oil
  • Chopped up whites of the green onion
  • Any ginger left on your cutting board
  • 1 tablespoon of Rice wine vinegar (I've used apple cider vinegar in a pinch)
  • A spoonful of chili sauce (this is total preference) 
  • Close lid and shake away (this can stay in the fridge for weeks)

I think this is what makes the dish, I sometime make extra its delicious just on rice

 Once the mix is cool get out your wrappers, spoons and hopefully some friendly helpers that want to help make dumplings. 
Everyone has their own style but my mom showed me to hold a wrapper in your left hand flat, if your mixture is dry add a small drop of water to the corners but I find with the cabbage and mushrooms you tend to have excess liquid. If this is the case drain some liquid out so your dumplings don't fall apart. with a small spoon scoop about a loonie size of mixture into the middle of your square, pinch the top and bottom then pinch either sides down for an even triangle. 
When you are done making your dumplings store them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and ensure they don't touch.
Cook + Eat//
  1. Heat up your large skillet with coconut oil ,coat the bottom, when the pan is hot add the dumplings sear on each side until golden.  This will take a few batches to cook all the dumplings. (if you don't get to cooking them all they freeze well as long as you lay them flat in a large ziplock and they don't touch until frozen or they will stick)
  2. Serve with salad or rice and your dipping sauce. 
  3. Pairs great with a dry riesling or my fav white burgundy! 

 

Thanks, Andrea! These look delicious, I hope that many people gather with friends and family (safely, of course!) and try this recipe! 

 

Make sure that you take the time to pop into any one of the A1 locations soon, we promise you won't be disappointed! 

To catch them on social media check out: 

A1 Bodega and Cafe 

A1 Cantina 

and A1 Burrito   (located inside of Ol Beautiful Brewing Co.)!