Thursday, November 24, 2011

Spicy Garlic Red Snapper with Peppers and Mushrooms. Bulgur Wheat.

So, not the most exciting combination of possible foods on the planet, but this meal was more about eating the Red Snapper that we had, and not having any rice, and taking a sudden interest in Bulgur Wheat after a wonderful takeout experience at a nearby Turkish restaurant. In general this meal was not entirely disgusting, it was just very purposeful, rather than lavish and decadent. I ended up eating this for lunch again, and since my girl had the day off today, she may have as well.





Ingredients
Assume all ingredients cut to relatively equal bite size pieces.

3 Small Fillets of Red Snapper
1/2 Each of Red, Orange, Yellow Pepper
1/2 Onion
1 Zucchini
1 Handful each of White Mushrooms and Oyster Mushrooms
4 Cloves of Garlic
Sriracha, Hoisin, Worstechire Sauces to taste
2 Tsp of Ground Ginger
Sesame Oil, Olive Oil

150g Bulgur Wheat
250g Hot Water

Directions


Stir-Fry


1. On medium heat. wok or large fry-pan on medium heat. Add a few splashes each of sesame and olive oil.


2. Stir-fry onions, peppers, and garlic for about a minute, add ground ginger. Continue cooking, add zucchini. Add sauces to taste, cook until ingredients are tender crisp. Then pour contents into bowl and reserve.


3. Clean wok or fry-pan, reheat on high heat, add a few tablespoons total oil, once smoking, add fish, allow to brown on both sides, season, return vegetables, add more sauce to taste, stir to coat. Add mushrooms.


Bulgur Wheat


1. In a heat proof bowl, add bulgur wheat and hot water, cover and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake

So, my girl's birthday is two days after mine, and since she got me a cake from Dufflet Cakes, I decided to get her a cake from yours truly. It was actually the first time I made a raspberry chocolate mousse cake, or made a mousse from scratch actually. I managed to make this cake at my parent's place, and without a proper spring form pan to boot. In a pinch, I decided to use an empty aluminum food takeout container with the bottom cut out to use as a mold for the mousse, and a guide for the base, I lined it with parchment to keep the mousse from sticking and getting really disgusting.

No spring form pan, no problem. Kind of ugly though.
For the base layer, I used a Dobos Torte recipe from a really great blog called Smitten Kitchen. You can find it here. I basically just cut the recipe into a third as I needed only one small layer. To make the chocolate mousse, I basically followed the directions of John Mitzewich at Foodwishes, he is really, really, really good at creating video recipes that really work. You can see the video below. For the raspberries, you can obviously see them on top, but I also cooked some down with enough water to cover them in a small saucepan until they were soupy then strained them and spooned them onto the base layer. I used a 1/4 pint in total, reserving enough for the top as you can see. I left the cooked raspberries tart, not adding any extra sugar to them as they provide some balance to an otherwise sweet and rich cake.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Heston Blumenthal's In Search of Perfection

I've had this book for probably at least a year, and although I've attempted bits and pieces of it, and maybe a full recipe or two, I've yet to really get into this book. That's all changed, I'm going to execute every recipe in the book, regardless of time, and expense, although I may not try to get LaBresse chickens from France, I'll instead look for extremely good quality organic free run chickens here, in Toronto. I'm pretty sure, each recipe is going to take me at least a week, even after I've sourced the ingredients and equipment, and for equipment, off the top of my head, I'm going to need a soda siphon, a meat grinder, and a vacuum bag system (for the cake), oh I just remembered, I guess I also need a paint sprayer... And maybe after I've made everything in this book if I'm feeling strong, I'll make everything in The Fat Duck Cookbook (good luck Michael).


New Apartment and a Sirloin Tip Roast

Apparently it was June 17th when I last posted anything. I guess, not being a serious professional blogger and moving apartments got the best of me. And although, I moved in to my new apartment a little over a month ago, it's not even 50% unpacked, and very happening very slowly. And although I've been cooking, I haven't been blogging for lack of organization. There was a fairly tasty tray of nachos with freshly made yogurt cheese, cheddar, guacamole, cocktail tomatoes, fine herbs, and sirloin braised in fennel seeds and shao shing (since that's the only wine I seem to buy, I should really get something else). This was perhaps due to the recent purchase of a 5kg sirloin tip roast, that I portioned off into smaller roasts, steaks, stewing beef, and thinly sliced pieces for stir -frys. All for $30, not bad at all. Sirloin tip roast is not the most tender cut out there by far, but it has a good amount of flavour, and if marinated, it works out just fine. The night before saw steak frites with sauted carrots. A simple, and satisfying dinner. I also returned from my sisters' Montreal apartment, among the things made there was a blueberry tart which worked out especially well, considering it was an emergency tart, but not surprisingly when considering the blueberries were bought from the farmers market earlier that day. I have no photos, but I hope to start making proper posts again this week.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sweet and Sour Crispy Pork with Pineapple and Mushrooms

So, this is basically one of the best dishes I know how to make. I really love Chinese food, and ate so much Chinese food growing up, that when left to my own devices, I seem to want to make Chinese food. I think this style of cooking would be Cantonese, I think. I'm not really an expert though on such things. A couple of key things to keep in mind with this dish... after frying the battered pork, put the cooked pieces in a 320F oven until ready to serve, also keep the sauce separate from the battered pork until serving. It maintains the deliciousness of both components. Also, it's really important, if shallow frying, to fry in small batches, turn the meat often, and to spoon small amounts of additional batter onto the pork as its frying. Also, I think there is a wide margin for variance in the sauce as long as it has nice sweet and sour flavours.


Look at that saucy pile of delicious mushrooms and fresh pinapple.

Just look at all that meat. So smooth. So fine.

Ingredients

Meat

2 Pork Tenderloins (Medium Small Chunks)
2 Cups Corn Starch
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tsp White Pepper
2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
Beef Stock

Sauce

1/2 Fresh Pinapple (Medium Dice)
2 Small Carrots (Finely Sliced)
1/2 Onion (Large Slices)
1 Portobello Mushroom (Large Chunks)
8 Medium White Mushrooms (Thickly Sliced)

Combine

250ml Cantonese Garlic Chili Chicken Sauce
30ml Oyster Sauce
80ml HP Sauce
30ml Rice Wine Vinegar
10ml Sesame Oil


Directions

1. Add the corn starch, spices and oil to a mixing bowl and beat the eggs into it, once it is well mixed, add the pork. The batter should be thick and coat the meat well. If it's too thick to stir, add small amounts of beef stock until it loosens enough to stir, but still thick enough to coat the meat. Cover and place in fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes before frying.

2. Heat frying oil to 375F, carefully spoon battered meat into hot oil, do not overcrowd. Turn meat often, spoon small amounts of additional batter onto meat as it frys, turn meat to quickly set extra batter. Cook until batter is nicely browned. Remove to plate, and repeat until meat is cooked. Slide the cooked battered pork on a baking sheet into a 320F oven for about 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper after removing it from the oven.

3. While the meat is in the oven, prepare the sauce. Heat sesame oil in a work on high heat. Add the carrots and onions. Stir fry and cook for about a minute. Add the mushrooms, stir fry for about another minute. Add the combined liquid ingredients to the work. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the pineapple. Remove from heat, set aside until serving.

Serve with jasmine rice.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flank Steak with Baked Potato





So, normally I would have taken a slightly better better photo of the food, but we started eating. Really, this posting should be about how much I like the Grill Pan and Induction Cooktop combo that I got two weeks ago. I previously made some really nice Strip Steaks and Spanish Chorizo, but I didn't bother blogging about them, and then, last night, Flank Steak. And I must say, the Strip Steaks and the Flank Steaks were easily the best steaks I've ever made at home. Induction and Cast Iron really is the way to go. Also, not to worry, this plate of meat, potatoes, milk-fat, and sugar was preceded by a simple green salad.

Mushroom Risotto






So, I think I'm probably going to make lots and lots of risotto before I ever decide to make a recipe, also the internet is so saturated with risotto recipes, that one more doesn't really seem to be neccessary. However, this is a fairly standard mushroom risotto that I made using the leftover "asparagus broth" that I "made" a few nights back when I made asparagus to go with the crispy haddock. Also, I made this with white stuffer mushrooms that I roasted in the oven first, and real mushroom powders that I got from Pistol River Mushrooms a while back which I've been fairly liberal in using, and I'm sure you'll notice them sprinkled throughout previous blog posts, and until they're all gone, you'll probably continue to see them. There's really not much to say that hasn't already been said ad nauseam about Risotto, so with that in mind... the end.

Perogies or Pierogi or Perogys

So, one of the things that my girl recalls from her childhood, is her mother making her perogies, from scratch. And being the sentimental old fool that I am, and being half-Polish, and not really embracing my heritage in my cooking, I decided to make some perogies. A quick scan of the wikipedia article on the subject shows a great deal of cultural variance, and even a variety of names that they go by. I guess I don't really care if they are originally Polish in origin, they're pretty delicious in general, and I enjoy eating them, and now also enjoy making them too. Rather than provide a full recipe, I'm only going to provide the recipe that I used to make the dough. I'm not entirely happy with the fillings that I made, so I won't bother writing up a full recipe for them. I made two kinds though, one was a baked then mashed potato, mixed with fried onion and cheddar cheese, it was kind of rustic and delicious, but probably could have stood to be smoother. The other was a turkey sausage and sauerkraut and dill filling, not bad in general, but very in your face, and could have used something to bind it together better.

Gigantic.


Ingredients


250g Unbleached Bread Flour
120ML Sour Cream
40ML Melted Butter
1 Egg
1 Tsp Salt


Directions

1. Sift the dry ingredients.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, pull into dough, knead, cover and leave on counter 1 hour before using.
3. Cut into sections, roll to 4mm thickness, cut into squares, or circles, fill, fold over and press to seal.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Crispy Pan Fried Haddock with Jalapeno Mango Salsa, Asparagus, and Kaffir Lime Scented Jasmine Rice

That could've been plated a lot better Michael... fail.

So, I finally started buying food again, and I had a mango in the fridge, and frozen haddock in the freezer, and dry rice in the cupboard, so this happened. I did go to the grocery store and spend $3.16 on Jalapeno peppers and Asparagus to make the meal a little better. The meal was good, but still had some flaws, my girl said the rice smelled like Fruit Loops though, and frankly, she wasn't wrong. Also, I owe some credit to my older sister for this meal as I was discussing it with her earlier that evening and she suggested add the kaffir lime leaves to the rice. If she had a blog, you should read it.


Ingredients

4 Frozen Haddock Filets
1 Green Mango
1 Jalapeno Pepper
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Cup Jasmine Rice
6 Kaffir Lime Leaves
1.25 Cups Water
30g Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
40 ML Chinese Rose Wine
1 Bunch of Asparagus
1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper



Kaffir Lime Leaf Scented Jasmine Rice

1. Combine jasmine rice with water in rice cooker at ratio of 1.25 unit of water to 1 unit of rice. Add about 6 dried kaffir lime leaves for every cup of rice. Remove leaves before serving.


Mango and Jalapeno Salsa

1. Break down a green mango, and mince till smooth. Finely dice 1 jalapeno pepper and combine with the mango. Add 1 Tsp ground ginger, and 1/2 Tsp ea salt and pepper. Stir.


Crispy Pan Fried Haddock

1. Melt 20g butter and 1 Tbsp Olive oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add frozen haddock filets, skin side down. Cook until defrosted, turn flesh side down, season skin side. Cook until softened throughout.

2. Tip liquid from frying pan and reserve. Increase to high heat, add 1 Tsp olive oil. Cook haddock on both sides until crispy. Season on both sides. Remove fish and reserve.

3. Add reserved liquid to hot pan, add chinese rose wine, reduce for 1 minute. Spoon pan sauce over fish to serve.


Asparagus

1. Clean and trim asparagus, boil in salted water until tender crisp. Drain and reserve water, makes decent beginning of vegetable stock. Remove asparagus, add 10g butter and reduce to medium heat. Return 8 stalks to saucepan, and saute in butter for 1 minute. Enough for 2-3 servings. Add 1 tsp lemon juice to stalks to serve.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mozzarella Pull




So, instead of posting some food today, I'm spamming the internet with an embedded deep link for a Mozzarella Cheese Making video on Youtube. Watch, at 3:15, as the cheese is pulled. WATCH AT 3:15 AS THE CHEESE IS PULLED! For those of you that care, I have a sneaking suspicion that the factory shown in the video is actually Saputo Cheese, which is somewhere in Quebec.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ikea "Favorit" Cast Iron Grilling Pan and Eurodib Induction Cooktop

So, last night I made acquisition of an enameled cast iron grilling pan from IKEA and I'm currently waiting on delivery of a Eurodib induction cooktop. I'm hoping the two will work well in tandem, and that my wish to make the balcony cooking experience a weekly reality will come to full fruition with splendi-ferrous results.

Update 06/24/2012

After using this combination, I'm fairly happy, but there are a few oddities. For starters, because this grill pan is a great deal larger than the active area of the cooktop, and induction being what it is, it has a major hot spot in the circular area that makes contact with the active area. Secondly, this cooktop is noisy, really noisy. The fan has a constant whir, and the cooktop emits a high pitch sound of which the intensity increases with the increase of the power level of the cooktop. Additionally, the cooktop makes an even more intense high frequency sound when it is set a specific temperature rather than an integer power setting. Overall though, I really like grilling with the two, and when cooking outside, the sound isn't really a problem, and if given enough time, the whole pan surface does heat up fairly well, though once you do start cooking, you will still find a hot spot drifting back into the centre as whatever you're grilling draws the heat out of the edges of the pan.


Click here to see more.


Click here to see more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Double Chocolate Cookie

Pretty and tasty.
So, I think this was perhaps my only saving grace tonight. These cookies were actually quite good, I wasn't sure if they were going to turn out as they looked really wet when I was scooping them onto the baking sheet, but they were alright in the end. I now have a sneaking suspicion that bakers press extra chocolate chunks into the top of still warm cookies to make the chunks more visible and semi-soft rather than melted into the batter and invisible.





Ingredients
Makes 8 big cookies, or 12 smaller ones.


140g Butter
100g White Sugar
40g Brown Sugar
1 Egg


Bowl 2
200g Flour (I still just have bread flour)
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
75g Cocoa Powder

60g Chocolate
1 Vanilla Pod (Scraped)

1. Cream the butter and sugar, whisk in the egg. Add the vanilla and chocolate. Stir.
2. Stir the ingredients in bowl 2, once mixed, add, 1/3 at a time bowl 2 into bowl 1, stirring to incorporate before adding the next 1/3, and so on.
3. Bake at 375F for about 18 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.


Panko Crusted Turkey Breast and Spicy Potato Wedges

Meh.
So, this was actually from yesterday, but I didn't really like the results, I'm not happy anymore with panko breadcrumbs, and it might just be the Kikkoman brand that I'm using, or that oven baking makes panko too dry and increases the chances of it tearing up the inside of my girl's mouth. There's really just not much to say about this, I couldn't even be bothered last night to take a picture of it on a plate.

Pork Dumpling Soup, Green Pepper and Cabbage, Rice with Hot Honey Mustard

Frozen dumplings and tetra-pack broth.
So, I was kind of slack tonight, I mostly just really wanted to watch Masterchef Australia, also, I'm sort of low on certain ingredients. I did make the mustard from scratch... but my girl didn't actually eat it, she feels it to be too strong, and I don't blame her, it really is quite strong. I don't think there's really anything to discuss about this particular dinner. I added some of the stock, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sesame seeds, salt and pepper, and garlic into the vegetables, nothing really special here though, they did taste good though. At least my girl got to watch Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang Which is a movie she really seems to like, and perhaps the strangeness of the movie paired well with the strangeness of the meal.
Tasty, but she doesn't like cabbage anymore.

Seared Meat Loaf and Poultry Seasoned Gnocci

So, this was more of an experiment than anything else. My girl was at a nail-art party on sunday night, so I was at home alone, left to my own devices, and what did I do... I cooked and ended up making mondays lunch. On friday, my girl and I tried out a new restaurant and amongst the limited menu that was full of things with both nuts and peas and other legumes (which I'm allergic to) they had what they called a seared beef loaf. It was extremely light and delicious, and so I wanted to try and recreate that light, but still flavourful meat loaf. Because I was kind of experimenting I don't have a recipe, but I did several things. I separated the eggs and aerated the egg whites separately until they were somewhat stiff. I also added milk and baking soda to the meat mixture. I also added mushrooms and onions that I pre-cooked and flavoured with chinese rose wine and shao shing wine, and other things. And I baked it at a low temperature, covered, in a loaf pan, then unmolded it, and seared the outside on high heat. Overall it was pretty good, but I need to work with it more.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Balcony Meal of the Season

Just look at all those items...


So, my girl and I live in a condo, and one of the nice things about living in a condo on a high floor is having a balcony. My girl has been, for the longest time, trying to get me to spend more time with her on the balcony, she tried flowers, she tried chairs and a small table, she tried growing herbs, but I just wouldn't consistently spend any time out there with her. Apparently though, the way to get me interested in just about anything is... food. I would probably be interested in almost anything if food is somehow involved. I'm guessing she's keen on the prospect of getting me out onto the balcony with her more often this summer, and I actually ordered a Eurodib Single Induction Cooking Hob and am trying to also track down a Lodge Logic Square Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pan. For some reason, I can't simply get an electric grill, or propane grill, like a normal person. Plus, I like the idea of having an induction cooktop, and it seems less annoying and more useful to me than an electric grill. So, this was kind of a test meal, as I don't have the pan or the hob yet, and it already seems like our table is too small for this sort of meal. Yay!

Not Greek Salad with Toasted Feta and Fresh Dressing
Because I made fresh mayonnaise for the potato salad and had leftover, I added some things and made a decent dressing for some salad.

Ingredients

Toasted feta is so niiiiice! Fresh dressing, also niiiiice!
Dressing
50ML Fresh Mayonnaise (See recipe below)
15ML Olive Juice
1 Tsp Celery Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste

Salad
8 Romaine Leaves (Cut bite size)
1 Thick slice of feta cheese 
2 Tomatoes (Cut into eighths)
15g Red Onion (Super Finely Diced)
4 Black Olives (To Garnish)

Directions

1. Combine the dressing ingredients, stir well, chill until serving.
2. Wash and cut the lettuce and tomatoes, arrange in bowl.
3. Toast feta under broiler in oven till browned and firm.
4. Add dressing to salad, lay warm toasted feta in centre. Garnish with olives and onions.

Baked Memphis BBQ Seasoned Turkey Wings
I genuinely felt like using a pre-mixed spice blend, and so I did, if you have it, use it, if you don't use whatever combination of spices you want. Garlic and paprika. Poultry seasoning. Garam Masala. Cardomom and Cinnamon, Basil and Oregano...

I make the extra effort to crisp the skin for easy removal.
Ingredients

8 Turkey Wings (4 split into 8 pieces)
Flour (Enough to dredge the wings in)
Memphis BBQ Seasoning (Use about 15% of however much flour used)
Olive Oil (To brush onto wings)

Directions

1. Combine Memphis BBQ Seasoning and Flour. Dredge wings until well coated.
2. Bake in a pre-heated 375F oven until flour is no longer visible on top side.
3. Brush wings with olive oil and more seasoning. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes more.
4. Broil using top element at 440F until skin is crispy, turning periodically.

Garlic Dill Poppyseed Round Loaf "No Knead" Style

Buying bread from a grocer or bakery is pointless.

Ingredients

250g Bread Flour
150g Cold Water
1 Tsp Ea Dried Dill, Granulated Garlic Powder
2g Instant Yeast
1g Salt

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients, but keep salt and yeast separate in bowl until water is added.
2. Pull together into dough. Cover and leave to rise for 10-12 hours.
3. Turn onto floured board, form into round loaf.
4. Pre-heat oven to 425F with uncovered roasting pan.
5. Place loaf into pre-heated roasting pan in oven, cover with lid, bake for 20 min.
6. Remove lid, increase oven temperature to 450F and bake for 15 min.


Russet Potato Salad with Fresh Mayonnaise
I'm not usually happy with potato salad that I make, but this was pretty good food.

Ingredients

Salad
3 Russet Potatoes (Cleaned, Skin On, and Cut into large wedges for boiling)
2 Baby Dill Pickles (Finely Diced)
1/2 Tbsp Dried Fine Herbs
1 Tsp ea Cayenne Pepper and Ground Coriander
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Boil the potatoes until semi-soft to the touch. Drain, lay potatoes onto cutting board to cool with the skin side down. Once cooled to the touch, place in fridge to chill for 1 hour.
2. Cut into bite sized pieces, add chilled mayonnaise, mix well, but gently to avoid breaking the potatoes.
3. Add spices, herbs, and seasoning, mix again, chill until serving.

Mayonnaise
I don't think I'd be able to make mayonnaise if it wasn't for John Mitzewich. I used the oil I used, because that's what I had on hand. Most people will tell you to use canola oil and some will tell you to use grapeseed oil, but you can use whatever you want, however, most oils have a strong taste to them, which means your mayo will too, unless you use grapeseed, canola, or other "neutral" oils. This recipe requires the use of an immersion blender and accompanying beaker.

Skin on for nutrition, mayo for fattening deliciousess.

200ML Corn Oil
50ML Avocado Oil
1 Egg Yolk
1 Rounded Tsp Ea Dijon Mustard, Cider Vinegar, White Sugar, Lemon Juice, Salt
Pinch of Pepper

1. Combine everything but the lemon juice in beaker. Allow to settle.
2. Insert blender, press to the bottom of the beaker.
3. Extremely gently, lightly pulse the mixture for no more than a fraction of a second at a time until it starts to thicken and turn white.
4. After it has started to thicken, pull blender up through the mixture and gently pulse to incorporate the remaining surface oil. Be extremely careful, any sustained blending will cause the emulsion to immediately become liquid instead of a thick spread.
5. Chill until ready to use.

Saute these in hot oil, then add to emulsified mayo when they have cooled
30g Red Onion (Super finely diced)
8 Sprigs of Fresh Chives (Super finely diced)
2 Cloves of garlic (Super finely diced)


Marinated Mushrooms


Tang city.



Ingredients

Handful of mushrooms
30ml Olive Oil
10ml Sherry Vinegar
1 Pinch each Dried Oregano, Dried Basil

1. Heat mushrooms in frying pan until softened.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Marinated Beets


Damn... those beets are just sssooo frrrrresh!

Ingredients

1 Large Beet (Peeled, Sliced)
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
40ML Mirin
20ML Honey
80ML Beet Water

1. Cook beets until softened. Drain, reserve beet water.
2. Mix all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate until serving.



BBQ Sauce of May 14th, 2011
I'm usually fairly random when I make BBQ sauce, but I'll provide the ingredients used in this one, at least, as far as I can remember. Also, I've got to stop putting the milled Shiitake mushrooms that I got into so many things.




Sugar gravy dipping pool...



90ML HP Sauce
30ML Ketchup
1 Tbsp Ea Oyster Sauce, Hoisin Sauce
3 Tbsp Milled Shiitake Mushroom
2 Tbsp Memphis BBQ Seasoning

1. Mix all ingredients and warm in a saucepan on low heat until moderately bubbling. Stir occasionally.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vegetable Frittata and even simpler salad

So, on mother's day, I was at my mother's condominium building, and I found out that the building actually has an on site herb garden for the building residents. Seeing as how I used to live there, and that I never once took herbs from the garden, I took some fresh chives, just this once. There's also been alot of meat packed meals of late, so something "lighter" was desired. In this case though, something "lighter" ended up being something packed with cheese and eggs, but... oh well. There reallly isn't that much to making a frittata, I know this to be true, as I've never made a frittata before, and it turned out quite good. This particular baked puffy crustless quiche of an omelette was filled with freshly boiled potatoes, green pepper, onion, herbed havarti, and mozzarella cheese. Nothing really out of the ordinary here. The salad was the last of the mixed greens that I used in the steelhead trout meal from yesterday. I don't usually buy mixed greens in a box, but I did get four servings from it, and it was only $2.99, so I guess I shouldn't complain.


Ingredients

Frittata

7 Large Eggs
1 Russet Potato (Peeled and small diced)
1/2 Red Onion (Small diced)
1 Green Pepper (Small diced)
100g ea Herbed Havarti and Mozzarella Cheese (Finely Grated)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Pinch of Dried Basil
1 Clove of Minced Garlic
1/2 Tbsp of Sherry Vinegar

Even Simpler Salad

1 Handful of Mixed Field Greens Per Person
1 Splash of Lemon Juice
1 Splash of Avocado Oil


Directions
I used the same 1.9L saucier to prepare the whole meal. The rounded sides of saucier gave the frittata a pleasing shape.


1. Place the diced potatoes in a small saucier of cold, salted water. Bring to boil, cook until tender. Drain water, reserve potatoes, clean and dry saucier.

2. Whisk eggs in large mixing bowl and add sherry vinegar. Whisk until lots of air bubbles are present and eggs and vinegar are well combined.

3. Heat the saucier over medium heat, add olive oil, then add green peppers and onions to rippling oil. Saute, season, add garlic. When peppers and onions are tender crisp and garlic is not burnt but aromatic, add the potatoes. Combine, and turn off heat.

4. Add dried basil and 3/4 of each of the cheeses to the mixture. Stir to combine then place in a 300F oven until puffy and firm.

5.  Once puffy and firm, add remaining cheese to the top of the frittata and place under broiler until browned.

6. Remove, allow to cool slightly, and carefully slip the frittata out, and onto a cutting board. Slice, top with fresh chives, serve warm.

Salad

1. Plate greens on plate beside frittata, drizzle small amount of lemon juice and small amount of avocado oil onto greens.




Sunday, May 8, 2011

Steelhead Trout and Fresh Fries & A Simple Salad

So, for some reason, we both really wanted fish, (probably because of all the beef of late) and for some reason I wanted to buy a big filet, and cook it whole. And for some reason, I decided, I really want to make Steelhead Trout. Had I portioned the filet before cooking, it probably would have been enough, had I pre-heated the oil a bit in the bakeware I used, it would have been enough, had I been more delicate and expert, it would have been enough. But all these things were not in place last night, and so, I made something that makes me want to try again to do better, rather than being happy about serving. I'll probably put together a recipe when I'm happy with the results.


A simple salad to begin.


This looks tastier than it really was.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Roasted Tomato Risotto

So, officially, my girl neither asked me to make this for her, nor did she actually eat any of it, nor was she even present while I was making it, or eating it, so really, this shouldn't be on this blog, but since this really is my blog, I'm putting it on. I did just make this, and just eat it, and it's about 10:30 in the morning. I enjoyed eating it for breakfast, but it would be just as nice at lunch, brunch, or dinner.

NICE!
Ingredients

1 Tomato
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tsp Hot Sauce
1 Tsp Avocado Oil
Salt and Pepper

1/3 Cup Scented Jasmine Rice
1/2 Tsp Dried Basil
Water as needed
25g Mozzarella Cheese (Roughly Diced)
White Truffle Oil to garnish

Directions

1. Wrap aluminum foil around a tomato and form a teardrop shape. Place in 400F oven and cook for about 30 minutes or until tender. Check periodically.

2. Crush tomato in bowl, removing some of the skin. Add garlic, hot sauce and avocado oil. Blend using an immersion blender, season, set aside.

3. Add rice directly to tomato mixture, stir until combined. Pour into cold saucepan, begin heating on medium heat.

4. Stir or shake saucepan to keep rice from sticking. Add water in small amounts when as moisture evaporates. V8 or tomato juice would work add more flavour, but would also mean more salt.

5. Cook until rice reaches desired tenderness, generally for risotto, the rice should still have some bite to it, but be somewhat soft as well. Add dried basil, season, stir.

6. Spoon into serving bowl, garnish with mozzarella and truffle oil.

Shepherd's Pie or Sheppard's Pie or Sheps Pie

Delicious.
According to a mutual friend of my girl's and I, shepherd's pie is made with meat, and whatever vegetables you have on hand. So I said, okay, I'm going to use the vegetables I have on hand, which were fairly unlikely for shepherd's pie, but, it was still delicious. Also, because I really took my time with this pie, prepared everything with the goal of creating distinct layers, and cooking everything separately, it turned out pretty damn good. Even our mutual friend liked it.






Ingredients

450g Lean Ground Beef
300ML Beef Stock (Chilled)
1 Can Corn
1/2 Medium Red Onion (Finely diced)
125g Daikon Bok Lo (Skinned and Slivered)
50g Each Parsnips, Celeriac (Skinned and Julienned)
50g Carrot (Peeled and Bias Cut)
50g Savoy Cabbage (Julienned)
20g Butter
Insta-Mash
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Cups Water
50 ML Chinese Rose Wine
100ML Shao Shing Wine
15g Bread Flour
Olive Oil
Paprika, Granulated Garlic, Dried Basil
Shitake Mushroom Powder, Porcini Mushroom Powder

Directions

Fillings

1. Prepare seperately the celeriac and parsnips, and carrots and cabbage in a hot pan with olive oil. Cook until semi-tender, season to taste and set aside.

2. Prepare the daikon bok lo in the same manner as above but after most of the liquid has evaporated, add the chinese rose wine and cook for about 4 minutes, season, and set aside.

3. Cook the ground beef half way, add the onions, continue cooking until liquid has evaporated and meat has browned then add the shao shing wine, add the spices. Reduce heat and cook for 4 minutes then add the corn and cook for 3 minutes then set aside.

4. Add 10g of the butter to a hot saucepan, after melted, add flour, stir until cooked, then add cold beef stock. Whisk until combined, add seasonings and mushroom powders, then cook for about 2 minutes more. Add meat and corn mixture. Then set aside.

Topping

5. Prepare insta-mash according to package directions, in my case, boil 2 cups of salted water with 10g butter. Remove from heat, add 1/2 cup of milk, then insta-mash, stir until well mixed.

Combining

6. Fill a oven proof baking dish neatly and evenly with the fillings in the following order:
Meat and corn in gravy, chinese rose wine daikon bok lo, savoy cabbage and carrot, parsnip and celeriac. Then spoon and spread insta-mash to cover.

7. Gently drag a fork across the top of the mashed potatoes to create the channeling depicted in the photo above.

8. Place under 400F broiler until browned, serve hot.








Fresh Burger Fresh Fries Fresh Bun

So, a little while back, I got it into my head that it was really easy to make fresh cut fries, and that they would be good. I figured, clean a potato, or peel it, cut it into strips that looked like fries, shallow fry the "fries" in hot oil, then season them, and they'd be like fries. This was probably, coming up on three years ago now that I first did this. I don't really know why I started doing that, but I haven't bought frozen fries ever since. I don't shallow fry, or deep fry them anymore as it's not really necessary for a delicious finish unless using Heston Blumenthal's triple cooked method, which are extremely delicious. I now clean or peel the potato, usually Russet, cut it into fries, put them into a bowl with a bit of oil and spices and seasoning, toss them, then put them onto a baking sheet, and slide them into a 425F oven. It's alot easier, they still get really crispy, and I'd like to believe that they are also a great deal healthier than shallow or deep frying them in hot oil. For burger-ing, I only recently starting making burgers at home that my girl and I started to find attractive. Making burgers is pretty standard, it's about the same as making meatloaf or meatballs, but the spices can be different, and the shape is different as well. Or at least, that's the case for oven baking, pan frying, or grilling would be slightly different. One day, I decided to pour a tiny amount of molasses into the burger mix, and I felt that it really worked, it was delicious, helped bind the meat, and sort of helped retain more moisture. If anything though, burgers, like meatballs and meatloaf are wide open though in preparation style, and ingredients, and in the case of burgers above all, toppings are widely subjective and should be chosen to personal taste. I've embedded the fairly annoying video below because it really got me thinking about burgers when I first saw it a while back. If you take anything from the video, just take that you can put just about anything you want into a burger mix in terms of flavoring, and it will probably taste good. Also, watch as Hubert Keller magically turns a piece of chuck into mince, then makes a burger out of it.



Shaauurrt reeebs was a mystery to me for the longest time.




And lastly, fresh hamburger buns, that I'm still working on, I used a fairly simple bread dough recipe, but added some milk and sugar to it for more of a burger bun feel and taste. Next time I'm making buns though, I have to remember that buns, because they have a great deal less thermal mass requiring far less cooking time than a loaf of bread from the same ingredients, so as to say, the buns were severely over-baked, but otherwise, so I'm told by my girl, that it was a pretty tasty meal, but the bun was nearly inedible.


Buns

This yield about 4 buns of appropriate size.

200g Unbleached Bread Flour
4g Instant Yeast
75g Water
25g Milk
15g Sugar
2g Salt


1. Mix all ingredients and form into dough. Cover with bag and rest for 90 minutes.
2. Turn onto board, knead for 3 minutes, rest for two minutes. Repeat six times.
3. Form into balls 1/3 size of desired finished bun, rest for 30 minutes.
4. Bake at 425F in a lidded roasting pan for (probably) 8 minutes, then remove lid and continue baking for 7 minutes at 450F.
5. Allow to cool before serving. 


Burger

This recipe actually yielded enough to make two burgers, and a bunch of meatballs which I used for an unpublished sweet and sour meatball meal. Though the spices in the mix weren't quite right for the dish, but this would probably make about 4 burgers.

Feta (hiding under the sliding burger), tomato, pickle, and tartar sauce, as requested.

900g Lean Ground Beef
3 Eggs
1 Tbsp Molasses
1 Packet Onion Soup Powder (Ground Finely with Mortal and Pestle)
1 Tbsp ea Granulated Garlic Powder, Paprika.
1/2 Tbsp ea Dried Oregano, Salt, Pepper

1. Mix all ingredients then chill in fridge for 34 mins.
2. Pre-heat oven to 425F and form a lidless double layered box from aluminum foil.
3. Remove from fridge and form into patties, place into aluminum box, slide into oven.
4. If also making fries, give the fries a 7 min head start. Remove when burger looks good to you, flipping occasionally to brown evenly, remove any coagulated fat before serving.


Fries

The ingredients in this recipe are estimates only, I kind of make these different every time I make them.

1 Russet Potato per person (Washed or Peeled)
2 Tsp Ea, Granulated Garlic Powder, Paprika
1 Tsp Ea Dried Oregano, Salt, Pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1. Cut potatoes into fries.
2. Toss all ingredients in a mixing bowl until potatoes are evenly coated.
3. Pour potatoes and coating onto baking sheet and bake in a 425F oven until crispy, turning occasionally. 






Update: I made more buns, using the recipe above, and they came out more or less fine. I think I'll need to write them up again though, and actually measure everything instead of dumping stuff into a bowl and estimating what I think I used. But the reduced baking time is critical for buns.

May 7 Update bun with test burger version 1.1.























Thursday, May 5, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This was actually quite delicious.
My girl, being from western Canada enjoys various food brands that are found in, western Canada. For some reason, she wanted me to make her some Beef Stroganoff, and by coincidence, she happened to find her favourite brand of sour cream at our local Wal-mart. This was my first time making Beef Stroganoff, so the recipe was a bit thrown together, but here it is none the less. The flavours in this recipe are quite delicious, I think in large part to the unique characteristics of the particular sour cream. I used Avocado oil in this recipe because I happened to have it on hand, and it has a very high
smoke point which makes it great for searing.


Ingredients

3 Tbsp Avocado Oil
1kg Beef Inside Round (Cut into Batons)
1 Medium Red Onion (Diced)
300ML Beef Stock
50ML Shao Shing Wine
2 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
1 Tbsp Dried Hammer Milled Shitake Mushrooms
1 Tsp Dried Ground Porcini Mushroom Powder
30g Salted Butter (Cubed)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Broad Whole Wheat Egg Noodles

To Garnish

Dried Fine Herbs (Tarragon, Chives, Chervil)
Paprika
Dairyland Sour Cream


Directions

Beef Stroganoff

1. Pre-heat stainless french skillet on medium high, pour in oil, once oil is rippling, add beef.
2. Cook beef until caramelized on all sides then reserve beef and drain pan juices.
3. Clean pan, reduce to medium heat, add onions, cook until soft and fond forms on the skillet.
4. Deglaze with wine, then add beef stock, spices, and mushrooms.
5. Add beef, and half the reserved pan juices.
6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Stirring occasionally.
7. Add half of the butter cubes, stirring to incorporate.


Noodles


1. Heat salted water on high heat until boiling.
2. Add noodles, stirring moderately until cooked.
3. Drain water, return noodles to pot.
4. Add salt, pepper, and remaining butter cubes, stirring to incorporate.


Finishing

1. Spoon seasoned buttered noodles into bowl.
2. Spoon Beef Stroganoff onto noodles.
3. Add a generous spoonful of sour cream, a pinch each of paprika and fine herbs.







Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pizza

Pizza is honestly also amongst my top five favourite foods and I love all styles of pizza as long as they perfect all of the criterium of their style. I define pizza as normal thickness and high quality, which for me doesn't get any better than Dante's Italian Restaurant in Thornhill. Another category in my mind would be cheap style but still using good ingredients, and for me the best example is Bellisimos in downtown Toronto, east of Yonge st. Thin and perfect, well I still haven't found the best.

So, I happened to have a surplus of mozzarella cheese and tomatoes (a situation I really don't mind being in) and since I always have bread flour on hand and it having been a while since my girl had any pizza, pizza happened. I made two pizzas but only photographed the first one as the second one got crumpled (sadfacedboy). I'm having difficulty right now with a system for getting the pizza into the oven onto something pre-heated and baking with the broiling element. I think if I baked from the bottom on a decent round pan and stopped being an idiot about sliding onto a preheated pan then things would work out fine. With regards to buying pizza dough from the store, don't, it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as this dough.





Wow, pre-packaged pizza toppings really look like pre-packaged pizza toppings.



















Sliced tomato, mozzarella, feta, black olives, black forest ham. Delicious.






















I actually made another pizza tonight using up the remaining dough, and this time, I lightly oiled a non-stick baking pan, and covered it lightly with semolina, baked it from the bottom, then finished it from the top, and it's fine. Actually it's more than fine, it's delicious.



Ingredients
This is probably enough for about four thin 14" pizzas.

Dough

454g Unbleached Bread Flour
30g Honey
30g Olive Oil
5g Instant Fast Acting Yeast
325g Cold Water

1. Combine all ingredients, stir. After dough comes together, turn out onto floured board.
2. Flour hands, knead for 4 minutes. Rest for 2 minutes. Repeat six times.
3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a plastic bag for 3 hours.
4. Roll out to desired thickness (baked thickness increases exponentially based on rolled thickness, thinest possible before tearing will be about 1.25 times thicker when baked, 1 inches thick unbaked will be about 2.5-3 inches thick after baking).
5. Thinly spread your tomato sauce, most of the cheese, toppings, then a bit more cheese.
6. Bake until desired done-ness at 425F on the bottom rack, then 500F using the broiling element until the desired done ness on the top is reached. This will vary by how soft you like your pizza, and how thick or thin you roll your dough.

Tomato Sauce

5 Ripe Vine Tomatoes (Blanched, Peeled, Crushed, Heart Removed)
1 Tbsp ea Dried Basil, Milled Dried Shitake Mushroom
1/2 Tbsp Granulated Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Fine Ground Porcini Mushroom Powder
2 Tsp Squid Sauce
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Heat sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Add oil, wait for oil to ripple.
3. Add tomatoes, cook for 90 seconds, stirring.
4. Add other ingredients, cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
5. Allow to cook before using on pizza.






Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Green Thai Curry with Beef


The recipe for this curry is actually also John Mitzewich's, and if you read my blog regularly, most of the stuff on here, for the last little while is his as well. He really is a very, very talented chef. I've yet to actually buy any lemon grass to make this though, as I kind of gave up on using lemon grass when I read that lemon zest is a fairly good substitute. Someday though, I'll find a place that has lemon grass and all the other fresh ingredients needed to put this curry together. I usually vary how I make this curry, by simply varying the non-paste ingredients, I do really love large bias cut pieces of carrot though. Also, if my girl allowed me to use zucchini, aka courgettes, I probably would, and the same goes for eggplant. I imagine I will be posting this several times more before I die, as it is one of my top 5 favourite dinners to make as it truly is an extremely delicious dish so I'll probably write out a better recipe later, plus, watch John's video below as he really, really knows what he's doing.

I was told I needed to take better photos. I hope this works.


My girl also enjoyed beef cold rolls with savoy cabbage, julienne carrot and celeriac, but they got eaten before a photo opportunity presented itself.

video






Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hand minced beef tomato sauce

I kind of really enjoy hand minced beef instead of machine ground beef. And I also don't mind mincing the beef myself either. The meat is a great deal softer and not at all chewy like ground beef can sometimes be. The sauce used in this recipe is also interesting in that it tastes good in spite of being made from very unlikely ingredients that most people would turn their noses up at. Its actually my girl's family's recipe that I've been making for a few years. All I can say is it tastes delicious, and don't knock it tell you've tried it. This isn't the original recipe anymore, but its a very forgiving sauce.

Ingredients

454g Slice of Sirloin Tip Roast (Finely Minced)
2 Cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 Can of Tomato Paste
1 Medium Sized Onion (Diced)
1 Cup Banana Peppers (Diced)
2 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
2 Tbsp Dried Milled Shitake Mushroom
2 Tsp ea Paprika, Thyme, Cinnamon, Sage
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Directions

1. Brown meat in a hot, oiled, french skillet. Add onions, garlic, spices and peppers. Cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add soup, paste, and mushrooms. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Stirring every 10 minutes or so.


Inedible

Apparently if I give my girl caramelized parsnip puree, cardamom scented broccoli and cheese, and molasses ground beef spiced with garam masala, tamarind paste, and cumin, she won't like it, and won't eat it either. I thought it was delicious though. Hopefully she likes the Greek'ish Salad with freshly made dressing that I left for her in the fridge.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Vegan Chili or Curry

So, for some reason I wanted to make vegetarian chili. It kind of turned out to be more of a curry and I think its vegan. The photo below looks kind of like vomit, but it does taste pretty good though.

barf. delicious.
Ingredients

1 Large Vidalia Onion (Thinly Sliced)
2 Cubanelle Green Peppers (Thin Strips)
1 Large Sweet Potato (Peeled and Cubed)
1 540ml Can Dark Kidney Beans (Cooked)
3 Vine Tomatoes (Peeled and Crushed)
2 Large White Mushrooms (Sliced)
1 340 ml Can of Corn Niblets
1 400 ml Can Coconut Cream
2 Teaspoons of Paprika
1 Teaspoon ea Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Coriander
1/2 Tablespoon of Ketchup



Directions

1. Cook onion in a covered saucepan over medium low heat until caramelized. Simultaneously dry roast sweet potato in oven at 350F.
2. Add green pepper to onion, stir and cook for about a minute. Add sweet potato, beans, and corn and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add spices and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushroom and cook for 1 minute.
4. Add coconut cream and simmer for 15 minutes.







Friday, April 1, 2011

Dinner Party and April 1st

It's been a little while since anything has been posted as my sister was in town and I was doing stuff with her. The two of us made a fairly solid dinner for my parents, aunt, uncle, and of course, my girl. She made fresh ravioli filled with roasted chicken, bruschetta with pepperonatta and ricotta, and a nice clean and green mixed salad with frise, oranges, and parmigiano. My contribution was the bread for the bruschetta, cream of belgian endive soup with failed creme fraiche, failed profiteroles and as a replacement; a decent flourless chocolate sponge (Heston Blumenthal's) with whipped vanilla cream, chocolate ganache, and a few raspberries. I don't have any photos of the five courses (of which my mother insisted I print a menu card for and make a copy for each person... uncomfortable...) but if I make anything from that meal again, I'll write up recipes and provide photos.

I was at the St. Lawrence Market yesterday and I got a whole piece of Peameal Bacon, and since I had a couple of buttermilk biscuits left over from the last batch in the freezer and a bunch of eggs and butter, eggs benedict happened again at her request. No need to repeat anything here from the previous post, but take a look here if you're interested. The only interested thing of note is when I prepared the Peameal bacon, I dry fried it with no other fat or liquid and after it had cooked on each side, I poured water into the pan to get the fond back onto the meat as a glaze and to add a feeling of moistness back into the meat as well without compromising the crispiness. I like to do the same thing when cooking chinese dumplings, but more on that another time.

I think my Hollandaise needs work. It's splittttty.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday - Breakfast and Dinner

Today was poached eggs and bacon with fresh pita that I made. And dinner was a wierd beef and cheese lasagna with a fresh tomato ragu. End of story. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dessert - Chocolate Pudding

No food today. Just dessert. I think I need to play with this recipe more, but it was really, really good, especially for a first attempt, which it was. This pudding has serious pudding skin issues for example and could have probably been a bit sweeter. I'd also consider adding a small amount of salt instead of sugar when I make it again. The recipe below makes 2 servings as depicted.

1 Cup Milk
1 Egg Yolk
60g Semi-sweet baking chocolate (slivered)
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Corn Starch

1. Whisk everything in a saucepan constantly on medium heat until the mixture reaches about 82C. Remove from heat. Mixture should thicken almost immediately.

2. Pour into serving dishes and chill in fridge until ready to serve. 


















Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Breakfast - Omelette And Homefries

So, because I had a chapati-fail this morning I made this instead. I was brimming with confidence after making decent Chapati on sunday just by eye, so I decided to make them again with a 1:1 mix of whole wheat and all-purpose. I followed a recipe that I already had, and they turned out too crisp. I might turn them into chips later as they turned out not soft or supple and I couldn't use them to make the breakfast wraps I wanted to make. And so, classic omelette and homefries happened.


I don't think I really need to provide a recipe here, instead just a few techniques that work for me (which I basically learned from watching Julia Child). See below.



"How about dinner in half a minute?" Will forever be stuck in my head.

Pre-cook wet ingredients and set aside to cool.

Add a tiny splash of cold water to the beaten eggs and pre-season.

Add the eggs to a buttered and oiled hot pan and cook just until coagulated then add ingredients and fold then tip the Omelette onto the plate from the frying pan.

The potatoes are pretty simple too. Peel, cut, place in bowl, coat with olive oil and spices. Pour onto lined baking sheet and place in 425F oven until desired level of done-ness achieved, turning throughout.


Breakfast - Chapati Fail

They didn't have the right moisture level. I will try this again some other time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lunch - Really Michael?

Wow. $2 well spent. Just look at all that delicious sludge.
Yup. That's what she ate for lunch today. It's been quite a while since either of us has eaten something like that because I'm such a cooking beast. On the plus side, she now refers to them as sludge boxes. I feel hilarious posting this and it is being posting for hilarity purposes only.

Breakfast - Fresh Bread and Peach and Orange Fruit Spread

I was semi-forced into getting an 8" metal roasting pan from the Sears Outlet store at the 404 shops. A depressing place that left me alone and silently weeping. At least the roasting pan helped make a nicely shaped loaf of bread.

Delicious.
Yay for E.D. Smith.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday

I didn't really get to make any food for my girl this weekend. But I made a small batch of Chapati for my parents from all-purpose flour instead of a 1:1 mix with whole wheat. Chapati are both surprising simple and fast to make, and surprising satisfying to eat. Mine get pretty puffy when they are cooking (without the aid of baking soda) which I think contributes to their softness, pliability, and chewiness. I think I actually prefer them to tortillas right now as they are just as delicious and don't require lard, butter, or baking soda. I also started a "no-knead" loaf of bread for my girl and I. I haven't really followed the recipes for the No-Knead method in a long time and usually eyeball them now as slow-rise loaves are fairly forgiving, at least in my experience with them.

I hope she likes the bread when its done.

For those interested in Chapati, I'll write up a recipe when I actually make them for my girl as part of a meal.


Sushi Xtra. 423 Queen St W. 
She ended up getting lunch provided for her by her place of work today. It should be noted that I'm not actually allowed to make sushi as I haven't really gotten the hang of the rice. So sushi is one of the few things that we actually go out for.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Breakfast - Oatmeal with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon, Banana, Strawberry Yogurt, and Dark Maple Syrup

So, I will be fortunate enough to be not staying at home on this Saturday and this will be the only thing I will probably make for her today. Which is good, because I don't think she likes it very much and I just saw her splash a bit of milk into it. I think I added too many sweet things... I guess this is an off-day...
Wow. This looks like it has a seeping wound.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dinner - Pulled Pork "Souvlaki" with Slow Braised Potatoes, Caramelized Parsnips with Onion, and Fresh Tzatsiki

So for some reason, my local grocery store had Pork Sirloin on sale for $1.49/lb so I bought a large-ish piece for about $5, though I really should have bought more. Because this was not actually done on skewers, or grilled, so it's not really Souvlaki, but it tastes sort of like what pork Souvlaki tastes like; but is also pulled pork, so it's double delicious. I also like finding excuses to make yogurt based sauces (or cheese for that matter) so that's kind of how this happened. I also had some Ontario parsnips on hand, so I made a side of caramelized onions and julienne parsnips.



















Pulled Pork "Souvlaki"

1.5kg Pork Sirloin
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp White Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Ea Dried Dill, Granulated Garlic Powder, Oregano, Thyme
3/4 Cup Cold water

1. Cut pork into 6cm cubes, marinate in bag with other ingredients for 2 hours.
2. Pour into covered oven proof dish and bake for 4 hours at 375F.
3. Remove pork and break into strands.

Slow Braised Potatoes

6 Small Russet Potatoes, Peeled, Halved
1 Litre Organic Chicken Stock
1/2 Tbsp Dried Dill
1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tbsp Ea Dried Dill and Granulated Garlic
1 Tsp ea Salt and Pepper

1. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and leave on the low heat for about 2 hours or until semi-soft. Leave in hot liquid until cooled.
2. Drain and reserve liquid. Refrigerate.
3. Pan fry potatoes in olive oil and lemon until lightly caramelized on at least 1 flat side.

Caramelized Parsnip and Onions

1. Slice onions thinly. Peel and Julienne Parsnips.
2. Place in frying pan over low heat. Salt lightly and cover with lid.
3. Cook until onions and parsnips are caramelized.

Tzatsiki

300g Balkan Style Plain Yogurt (6% M.F.)
1/2 Tbsp Dried Dill
1 Tbsp Ea Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
70g Cucumber, Pre-weight, Peeled, finely grated, salted, squeezed, and drained.
1/4 Cup Green Onion
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/2 Tbsp Honey
1 Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

1. Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.