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.


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

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)


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.

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)


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.


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


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.


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.

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.


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!


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.

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