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.

Yay for E.D. Smith.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


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.


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.

Lunch - Tuna Salad with Fresh Mayo

A simple lunch following that heavy breakfast. Tuna salad with fresh mayo using (once again) John Mitzewich's method for making fresh mayo which flies in the face of every mayo recipe that tells you to drizzle the oil into the egg yolk emulsion. Though he does qualify it by saying that if the recipe were done in a conventional blender, the oil would need to be drizzled. Check out the video below, it really works. The tuna also has dried dill, finely diced baby dill pickle and is garnished with a bit of truffle puree. Instead of bread, scoop with, or top onto vegetables and eat it that way.

Breakfast - Eggs Benedict with Bacon on Buttermilk Biscuits

I made this for her because I was flipping through Marco Pierre White's "Wild Food From Land and Sea" which I borrowed from the library, and found a Hollandaise sauce recipe on page 127 and had recently learned how to make delicious Buttermilk Biscuit from John Mitzewich's blog and I had some recently purchased bacon and eggs, so it seemed like a good fit. I think I've also had a need to make Eggs Benedict every once in a while after having really good Eggs Benedict at The Hoof Cafe with my girlfriend a while back. Which is apparently now closed, curious. I guess all the more reason to make Eggs Benedict. Anyway, here are the recipes in the order that I prepared them.

Buttermilk Biscuits

I happen to have a ridiculous 3HP Blendtec HP3A Blender which I used to help me make these. Since I haven't bothered to get a pastry blender yet (I also never really clued into what they were for when I saw them in stores), I don't know which would deliver better results. The recipe is slightly modified from John Mitzewich's to include the blender, it should be noted that his look, and probably taste better than mine. I cut them to size with an 8cm (3") ring-form. You should really watch John's video for how to knead them and form the dough. You should also really check out his blog. His recipes are really, really, really, really good, and he's funny.

2 Cups All Purpose Flour (260g)
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
100g Salted Butter, Diced.
200 ML of Buttermilk

1. Place the dry ingredients in the blender and pulse a few times to blend them. Add the butter and pulse until a fine crumb forms then dump into a mixing bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre of the crumbs and pour in the buttermilk and with a really big spoon or spoonish spatula mix the crumbs and buttermilk and try to roll into a sphere-ish dough.
3. Dump the sphere onto a floured worksurface (in my case, granite countertops) and gently "fold-knead" (kind of like folding a letter) about 3 times then roll out into a 1/2" thick rectangle then cut into biscuits.
4. Transfer the biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet, press your thumb into the centre of the top of each of the biscuits, brush with buttermilk and place in a 425F oven for 20 minutes.


While the biscuits are in the oven, take a sheet of aluminum foil, fold it in half, then form it into a rectangle with 4 vertical sides, kind of like a baking sheet, lay four slices of bacon into it, and place that in the oven with the biscuits. Depending on when you put the bacon in the oven, and how thick it is, and how crisp you like your bacon, it might be done before, at the same time, or after the biscuits, but just keep a mindful eye on it, then transfer to a bowl with paper towel when it's done.

Hollandaise Sauce

Marco Pierre White's Recipe is for a large batch, I converted some of the measurements and divided it by three for a smaller batch. I really only needed a few tablespoons of the finished sauce in the end.

1 Egg Yolk
30 ML of Water
10 ML of Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
60g of Butter, diced

1. Whisk everything except the butter in a small saucepan till blended.
2. Add the diced butter. And put the saucepan on medium heat.
3. Whisk until the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened.
4. Reduce heat to low and leave covered while preparing the poached eggs.

Poached Eggs

I've had ups and downs making poached eggs, for a while I wouldn't make them at all because they kept turning out terrible. I think the problem was I was obsessed with swirling the water, (or putting the eggs into plastic wrap) which is really not necessary. But one day I was having breakfast at Sunrise Grill with my girlfriend and I ordered poached eggs because the restaurant has a completely open kitchen and I was at a table where I had a perfect view. The cook, cracked the eggs into a pot of boiling water one at a time, waiting maybe 10 seconds or so between eggs and just left them to boil. And a little while later, I was given a plate of three perfect teardrop shaped poached eggs. So, I realized that swirling the water is really not at all necessary, and making the eggs one at a time is really not necessary either. I guess it should be noted, he's probably extremely experienced at making breakfast and making poached eggs. He was using a tall windsor pan, and it probably had the perfect balance of vinegar and perfectly tempered water and he was probably using really fresh eggs. So, although my eggs are not perfect globes, or teardrops, they're better and simpler to make than they used to be.

1. Heat a large saucepan of water to about 82C.
2. Crack the eggs into the water, one at a time, waiting about 10 seconds between eggs.
3. Turn down the heat slightly and boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from water, drain, and plate.
4. Repeat for four eggs total.

Final Plating
2 Servings of 2 eggs each

1. Cut two biscuits in half and place two halves each on two serving plates.
2. Break each slice of bacon in half and place two halves in a cross on each biscuit.
3. Place the drained poached egg on the bacon and season with salt and pepper.
4. Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce onto each egg.
5. Top each egg with a little bit of diced green onion.