Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mushroom Galette

So, rather than being a mushroom tart per se, this is simply a mushroom, cooked like a potato galette, except with far less oil. It really helps to use a non-stick pan over medium low heat to cook the galette. And to cook it really only requires a bit of patience. Finished with a bit of salt, pepper, unfiltered olive oil, and oregano, the dish is beautiful simplicity. I truly believe this would be even better with a drizzle of truffle oil.

For mushroom lovers.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Beef and Pineapple

I really wish I had green onions for this...
So, I don't know. I like beef, I like pineapple. So does my girl. So, this was an easy sell. And, polls say, she thought it was delicious. I marinated the beef for quite a few days for this, I'm not really if it was entirely necessary. I used stewing beef and marinated it in chunks for the majority, and for the last few hours I sliced the beef thinly, then returned it to the marinade.

Before cooking the beef, I cooked the peppers and onions, then removed them from the pan, then coated the beef in rice flour, then cooked it in hot oil. The combined everything in the sauce, and added pineapple at the end. Overall, pretty good, although, I really wish I had a wok burner and a giant wok so that I could really drive the heat through my stir-frys with maximum performance and extreme prejudice.

Recipe to follow

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Salisbury Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Rapini

So, this meal came out of happening to get ground veal for $2.99/lb one day and not wanting to do typical ground meat options. The gravy in this dish really makes it, and is extremely rich and full of intense mushroom flavour. I think I put this whole meal together for $13 and got about 8-10 servings from it, not bad really.

Recipe to follow shortly.

Beet and Beef Borscht

So, this is pretty straight forward. I accidentally made this without the luxury of Dillweed, so I substituted with Dill Pickle Juice. Turned out, okay, but not one hundred percent ideal. Having 14% MF Sour Cream and Sauerkraut on top doesn't hurt though.


1Kg Stewing Beef
2 Large Peeled and Diced Beetroot
350ml Dill Pickle Juice
TT Granulated Garlic, Salt, Pepper
Sauerkraut and Sour Cream to Serve
Water to cover


1. Using a pressure cooker, sear beef until reasonable browned then add beetroot, and cover with water, cook for 25 minutes under pressure.

2. Remove beef chunks and beetroot from pressure cooker and boil down remaining liquid until reduced by half. Add dill pickle juice. Season beef and beetroot generously, combine with reduced liquid from pressure cooker.

3. Serve hot. Add dollop of sour cream and sauerkraut on top. Season to taste.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Braised Beef with Herb Risotto

So, I picture being able to break apart a braised piece of inside round with a fork like George Calombaris does in the video below. But I feel as though, no matter how long I braise inside round, it will never do that, and the reason being, is it's too solid a piece of meat with a total lack of marbling or connective tissue. The longer it braises, the dryer its mouthfeel is, no matter how much liquid its immersed in. It should be noted, the cut of meat in the video below is beef cheek which is supposedly tough and lean, but perhaps the increased presence of connective tissue is what makes the difference.

Oh well. In spite of the minor shortcomings in terms of texture, the taste and overall eating experience was still quite high for this dish. Also no one really hates risotto. So, after watching a few videos, perhaps I haven't braised the beef long enough, I just saw a video that recommended braising beef cheeks for 6 hours at 160 degrees Celsius. The stuff that I cooked, at most, got about 2 hours. So, perhaps there's still hope for inside round after all.

Recipe to follow

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Custard Style Scrambled Eggs and Double Cooked Potatoes with Prosciutto

So, this is more of a technique than an outright recipe and came about as a result of attempting to get breakfast ingredients on an early sunday morning from my italian/korean butcher-grocer. Failing to strip bacon from their clutches, and leaving only with a chunk of superior house-made prosciutto I was relegated to the breakfast depicted below.

Although those potatoes look as though they were deep-fried, I assure you, they were not at all. The technique for the potatoes is both simple and very rewarding. They were boiled till tender, drained, roughed up a bit, cooled in the fridge, then baked in the oven. The prosciutto was added during the last few minutes in the oven to render some of the fat out and improve the texture. The eggs were cooked slowly over a double boiler over low heat until gently curdled and then seasoned and finished with a few drips of brown butter and balsamic vinegar. This technique creates very creamy eggs without the use of butter or cream.

Unfortunately my girl did not enjoy the eggs as they were too creamy for her liking. She associates creamy eggs with rawness so I ended up eating her portion, and quite happily. The potatoes however, went over very well. Light and fluffy in the centre and glassy and crisp on the outside with a mild combination of garlic and marjoram.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pressure Cooker Braised Beef with Crispy Garlic and Tomato, Cucumber, Caper Salad

So, there's an all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurant that my girl and I really like and one of the things on their menu is a very simple dish, labelled simply "cube steak with garlic" and since my girl likes ordering it so much, she asked me to make it for her, so that's pretty much what happened here. I would have liked to get the garlic crispier than I did, but that may have involved shallow frying, or at the very least, using a new pan that I wasn't using to sear the beef. It suddenly occurred to me that broiling lightly oiled sliced garlic might work too.
Those little pieces of garlic look almost like flower petals...


Stewing Beef
1 Head of Garlic (Peeled and Sliced)
1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Yellow Prepared Mustard
3 Bay Leaves
Olive Oil (For Searing The Meat)
Salt, Pepper

2 Cucumbers (Sliced)
20 Cocktail Tomatoes (Halved)
1/2 Large Onion (Sliced)
4 Tbsp Capers (With Liquid)
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Granulated Garlic and Dried Basil
Salt, Pepper



1. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl, pour oil and vinegar over, add capers, garlic, and basil, stir well to combine. Season to taste.


1. Sear beef in hot olive oil and reserve. Deglaze between batches with water, reserve lightly reduced liquid and pour over beef.
2. Fry sliced garlic in hot olive oil and reserve garlic and oil.
3. Place reserved beef pan deglaze reduction liquid in pressure cooker and combine with mustard, Worcestershire, bay leaves, stir to combine, then add beef. Pressure cook for 30 minutes, or braise at 300F in oven until tender.
4. Remove beef when tender and reduce braising liquid, skim impurities and strain.
5. To serve spoon reduced braising liquid over beef and top with sliced garlic and a small drizzle of oil used to fry garlic. Season to taste.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Meat Plate

So, this is what I decided to make last night. Mostly because I didn't really have a lot in the fridge. Turkey and Mushroom Pate with caramelized onion, more homemade corned beef, Char Siu from T&T @ 16&Woodbine, Bick's Picks, Marble Rye Toast points, and Dijon and Whole Grain mustards. This dinner didn't really go over that well, and I can't say I'm surprised.

Meat Plate.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Corned Beef Sandwich

Easily one of my all time favourite things.
So, corned beef. An amazingly delicious thing. I've wanted to make thing for a very long time, and one day, I finally made some. Or more aptly, I finally started making some. The reason I say started is because it actually takes about 21 days to make. Now, after having made this I'd probably most definitely do at least one thing differently. After the pickling process, I steamed the corned beef in a pressure cooker for 90 minutes. The next time I make this, I'm going to steam it in a large stock pot and try to keep the steam as close to 71C as possible and cook the meat until tender.

Even though I made this in a pressure cooker, and it was slightly less juicy that I would like, the flavour and the texture was still absolutely amazing. The fat on the meat was delicious and melt in your mouth tender. I normally like my corned beef sandwiches to be pretty lean, but a mix of a small amount of the fattier pieces with mostly leaner pieces proved to make a delicious combination of flavour and texture. Both my girl and I, and everyone else that ended up tasting it told me how amazingly good it was, and personally, I'd be hard pressed to go to a deli again for a Corned Beef sandwich. I didn't have pickling spice on hand when I made this, so I put a few things together after reading a bit about pickling spice. I'm sure that if you used a pickling spice mix it would still be just as good. Also, since I made this three weeks ago, and didn't take any notes, I'm slightly hazy on the spices I used and proportion of each.


1 Beef Brisket
Cold Filtered Water (Enough to cover the meat)
Salt (70g (1/4 Cup) Per Litre of Water)
Pickling Spices (140g (1/2 Cup) Per Litre of Water) Cloves, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Bay Leaf, All Spice Berries, Cinnamon, Mustard Seeds, Coriander, Salt.


1. In a large clean bowl, add meat, cover with measured amount of clean filtered cold water. Add measured amounts of salt and pickling spices, use a dinner plate or something heavy to keep the meat weighed down. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 21 days.

2. Remove meat from brine and discard brine. Steam meat in a pressure cooker for 90 minutes. I will update this recipe again after I've tried the new method, but for those adventurous, here's what I'm going to do. Steam the meat at 71 degrees Celsius in a large stock pot using a tall round rack to keep the meat elevated and out of the water until tender.

3. Serve with standard yellow mustard on marble rye or pretty much anything you want. I ate it with some mustard and no bread and it was still delicious.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Haddock with Roasted Tomatoes, Asparagus, and Spicy Cabbage

So, I actually should give my mother credit for showing me that baked haddock could be quite good. Quite good indeed. And his really is good, I'm not sure that it would work well with any fish, but with slightly thicker filets, it works really well, and I actually prefer this to cooking En papillote. The general method is quite simple, brush the fish with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs on the presentation side, bake on a lined sheet at 400F for about 3-4 minutes, then broil from the top side at 400F for about 3-4 minutes. Other than that, there's not much too this meal. But it's highly, highly, rewarding and delicious. This recipe is more about technique though, than ingredients, so I'm not really including a full ingredients list.

Really delicious.

1. Portion fillets into squarish pieces for serving, place pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and dried herbs. Bake in the middle rack of a pre-heated 400F oven for 4 minutes, then broil for 4 minutes at 400F. Gently probe the fish with fingertip or spoon to check for doneness. Remove from oven and allow to sit at room temperature.

2. Lay tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and in a pre-heated 400F oven broil tomatoes until blistered.

3. Blanch asparagus in salted boiling water for 2 minutes or to desired doneness then remove pieces to cold water. Dry and season before serving.

4. Cut cabbage into large bite size slices, combine with sliced and de-seeded habanero pepper, fry in a dry saucier over medium high heat for 1 minute, then add a small amount of water to bottom of pan, stir and cover, reduce heat to medium low, cook for 6 minutes, add heaping tbsp red pepper paste, cover, cook for 3 additional minutes. Season before serving.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwich on a Buttermilk Biscuit with Fresh Coleslaw and Crackling

So, technically, these were slightly more for a BBQ Birthday party for a friend of mine than they were for my girl. However, she did to eat some of them (kind of as my guinea pig though) and in doing so, helped me to determine the ideal way to serve them. I had never worked with crackling before, and in this kind of sandwich, it's best to leave it at room temperature, and to break it into small pieces, and to remove any pieces that feel too hard to eat. These are slightly labour intensive to make as it requires making buttermilk biscuits, fresh mayonnaise then making coleslaw using a mandoline, removing the skin from a pork shoulder, blanching it then roasting it and basting it in its own fat, searing the rest of the shoulder evenly on all sides then braising it, then making a barbecue sauce from a few different reductions and caramelized onions, but the results are pretty good.

Kind of delicious.


Buttermilk Biscuits
2 Cups Bread Flour
1 Cup Buttermilk (Chilled)
1/3 Cup Butter (Chilled)
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Baking Powder

1x Pork Shoulder
Dry Rub (Smoked Paprika, Granulated Garlic, Salt, White Pepper)
Braising Liquid (Water, Worcestershire Sauce, Chicken Stock)

Skin From Pork Shoulder

2 Egg Yolks
30ml Ea Dijon Mustard, Mirin, Lemon Juice
200ml Grapeseed Oil
1/2 Tbsp Ea Granulated Garlic, Dried Fine Herbs
Salt, White Pepper to Taste

Chilled Mayonnaise
1/2 Head of Cabbage
2 Medium Sized Carrots
Mirin and Celery Salt to Taste
Salt and Pepper to Taste

2x Medium Onions (Finely Sliced)
Braising Liquid Reduction
100ml Apple Butter
30ml Pitcairn Honey

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beef Stew with Roasted Zucchini

So, knowing that I would be making something similar in my upcoming cooking class, and knowing that my girl would not actually have the opportunity to taste it, as I'm taking that particular stew to a party, I decided to make this for her with the stewing beef that she told me to buy. It was also made from a vegetable pack that was intended for grilling which I said, "f'you grillgoals!" to and cooked them in a bit of olive oil in a skillet instead. I think the key to the success of this dish is making a really good sauce that will become the body of the dish and was in fact so good that my girl drank it from her bowl, a rare occurrence. Also to cook the meat and the vegetables separately and in the most ideal manner for each and then combine everything at the end. In general, I really like cooking vegetables covered over medium low heat in a skillet, then uncover and cook over medium heat with a bit of olive oil, then remove from heat and season to taste. I also used a pressure cooker to make this recipe, I think it went a long way towards infusing more flavour into the sauce as well as tenderizing the meat tremendously.

A huge success with my girl.


1000ml Organic Chicken Stock
90ml Tomato Paste
1/2 Medium Red Onion (Large Slices)
1 Medium Sized Carrot (Peeled, Large Slice)
1/2 Rib Celery (Large Slices)
2 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and Lightly Crushed)
1 Tbsp Bread Flour
Salt, Pepper
Dried Oregano
Olive Oil

1.5kg Sirloin Stewing Beef
1/2 Red Onion (Fine Chopped)
1 Medium Carrot (Peeled, Fine Dice)
1/2 Rib Celery (Fine Dice)
6 Stems Asparagus (Chopped 1.5cm) 
1 Yellow Pepper (Medium Diced)
8 Cherry Tomatoes
Mushrooms (Medium Thickness Slices)
2 Cloves Garlic (Pureed)
Salt, Pepper
Dried Oregano
Olive Oil

800g Zucchini
90ml Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper


1. To make the sauce, over medium heat, add a generous amount of olive oil to a skillet, add vegetables cook for a few minutes, add tomato paste, cook for a few minutes more, add flour, stir until well combined, add stock, reduce heat to medium low, whisk until smooth, continue whisking and increase heat to medium high, whisk until slightly thickened. Strain and reserve liquid, discard vegetables.

2. Pat dry stewing beef, salt generously. Heat skillet on medium high heat with olive oil. Sear meat in single layer batches. Sear carefully on all sides. Deglaze with water between batches, reduce and add to reserved sauce. Discard deglazing liquid if it begins to taste burnt or bitter. Place seared beef in pressure cooker and cook under pressure for 25 minutes, allow to cool, remove lid, carefully remove beef using tongs, reduce cooking liquid by half and reserve.

3. Cook vegetables for stew in clean dry skillet over medium low heat, covered until softened. Remove lid, increase heat to evaporate some liquid, add a bit of olive oil, cook until slightly browned, remove from heat, season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

4. Combine beef, vegetables, and reduced cooking liquid, season to taste.

5. Rub zucchini strips with remaining tomato paste, sprinkle salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake at 400F until softened, then broil at 400F until slightly browned.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lemon and Thyme Chicken Breast with Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, and Avocado

So, normally my girl and I don't have chicken as she's allergic to the additives in commodity chicken as such, chicken has become a rare treat and we only have it when I buy a whole free run or organic chicken. Which is not that often. However, on the suggestion made by a mutual acquaintance (*cough, my mom, cough*) I bought some Kosher chicken breasts under the premise that they would be kosher for my girl to eat. She ate this last night, and will be eating this all week, so here's hoping that she doesn't breakout and have any major histamine response.


8 Half Chicken Breasts (Butterflied)
1 Chopped Onion
3 Lemons (Juice and Zest)
1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic
1 Tablespoon Thyme
Organic Chicken Stock (Enough To Cover)
Olive Oil

2 Lemons (Juice and Zest)
250ml Organic Chicken Stock
4 Cloves of garlic (Peeled and Sliced)
Pan Juices from Chicken
5g of Salted Butter
Salt and Pepper

800g Brussels Sprouts
450g Mushrooms
2 Tbsp Porcini Mushroom Powder
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil


1. Prepare a marinade of the juice and fine zest of 3 lemons, 1 chopped onion, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp dried thyme and enough chicken stock to cover. Butterfly, then marinate chicken breasts for 8 hours, any longer and the chicken breasts will start to cure too much in the acid.

2. Heat a large non-stick frypan or grillpan over moderately high heat for several minutes then add chicken breasts and grill on each side until browned, turn and flipping occasionally to promote more even cooking. Remove meat from pan once an internal temperature of 160F has been reached. Remove to plate and allow juices to collect. Notes: Do not force meat off grill as this will likely causing tearing, if sticking, wait. Brush raw side when turned up with olive oil before first flip.

3. In a small saucepan, reduce the juice and zest of two lemons, 250ml chicken stock, and garlic to a syrup. Add 50ml chicken stock, pan juices from resting chicken, add butter in small chunks and whisk till smooth. Season to taste.

4. In a pressure cooker, add the Brussels sprouts and about 300ml of water. Cook under pressure for 12 minutes.

5. In an 11" french skillet, add mushrooms and cook, covered, over low heat until mushrooms are soft and their juices have rendered. Sprinkle with porcini mushroom powder, salt, white pepper, and a splash of olive oil.

6. Quarter and peel an avocado, slice medium thin and fan out on serving plate.

Crispy Trout With Shallot White Wine Cream and Grapes and Lemon

So, about a month ago, I started taking weekend classes at George Brown College and this past week we were supposed to make trout poached in fish stock with grapes and shallots then turn the poaching liquid into a cream sauce. I tasted the demo dish and didn't really like it very much and almost wanted to leave the class early and not cook, and then I decided to make the dish my own. I'm glad I did. My girl loved what I made. And I thought it was delicious too.


1 Side of Trout Cut into 3 equal pieces (Bones and skin removed)
1 Lemon (Julienne Zest and Juice Reserved)
1 Handful of Seedless Green Grapes (Crushed)
3 Shallots (Finely diced)
60g Butter
20g Bread Flour
200ml Cream
200ml White Wine
250ml Fish Stock
1 Handful of Parsley (Chopped)
2 Tsp of Dried Tarragon
Salt, White Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Peel the lemon and julienne the peel. Crush the grapes and combine with the lemon peel. Squeeze half the lemon into the peel and grape garnish. Chill.

2. Prepare a mixture of the flour and 30g of the butter in a small bowl until a paste is formed, form into small pieces and reserve. Over medium high heat, in a small saute pan, add 30g of butter and the shallots, saute until softened. Add white wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium low, add cream, stir until combined. Increase to medium heat, add butter and flour paste in tsp amounts, stir until combined. Add until sauce has thickened enough that a line drawn on your stirring spoon stay separated but the sauce still runs off the spoon, if too thick, add more fish stock a tbsp at a time. Reduce heat to low then season to taste with salt and white pepper.

3. In a frypan over medium high heat, add olive oil and heat until rippling, add salmon fillets and fry for 2 minutes per side then break into small pieces and continue frying until crispy.

4. To serve, add sauce to warm plate, place fish in centre on sauce in neat conish pile, garnish with grape and lemon peel mixture, parsley, lemon juice, and dried tarragon.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chocolate Croissants "Pate levee Feuiette"

So, I made these yesterday in my boiling hot kitchen (terrible for pastry, doubly bad for this one) and used a bad recipe, but they still worked out ok. See below, for what seems to be a really good recipe video, and one that I'm going to use next time around.


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. I don't have any photos but we had five courses of which my mother insisted I print a menu card for and make a copy for each person... uncomfortable... 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.

Poached Eggs

So, having made three fairly perfect poached eggs this morning, two being for me, one being for David Bowie Papillion, I've realized that there is a great deal in the freshness of an egg as it relates to poaching. There's no real mystery to it, the fresher the egg, the better it will become a nice round globe. You don't have to swirl the water, you don't have to drop the eggs in at a certain speed, you don't have to fuss too much about the temperature of the water, or the ratio or type of vinegar used. You just need fresh eggs and water heated over medium heat. If you do have a thermometer, the water should be heated to around 82 degrees celcius, and if you do decide to add vinegar, any will do, any it's probably something like 30ml for every 1L of water. Also, if you crack your egg into a small bowl, or something before pouring it into the water, it's much easier. But that's it, use fresh eggs to make great poached eggs.




So, Beartato Lasagna. So, I've never eaten bear, never cooked with bear, never seen someone eat some bear, and now, I've cooked bear meat, and eaten it too. And, after all the things I've heard to the contrary, it was actually quite delicious. The meat I happened to get was from a town a few hours north of where I live from a co-worker who got it from a friend who got it from a bear that was apparently shot by a child. True story, or so I was told. As to why, I made Beartato Lasagna, literally, with real bear, and of course, real potatoes, I don't know, it just made sense. It feels wrong to me to even consider making a Beartato Lasagna  without using real bear, and so, I don't know if there is really a better use for bear meat. I'm going to have to freeze this bear until a friend of mine can come over for dinner and share it with my girl and I. Good thing I had more than enough bear meat to make a full size bear and potato lasagna as well for eating purposes in the near or immediate future.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Roast Pork and Mushrooms, Asparagus and Puree, Fondant Carrot, Parsnip Puree, Fried Cabbage and Spinach

So, this is going to be dinner for my girl and I for this week. I've never made fondant of carrot before, and now having made it, I can see how important consistency of cutting is, both in the thickness of each piece of carrot, and having a flat even surface. I made a gravy for this dinner from the drippings and from cooked mushrooms, but its so thin its invisible, I'm going to reduce it for next serving. Also, having asparagus with asparagus puree is  both funny, and delicious and a good way of using asparagus trimmings. 


1 Rolled Pork Loin
14 Mushrooms (Mix of White and Brown)
2 Large Parsnips
1 Giant Carrot
1 Bunch of Asparagus
1 Tablespoons of Pure Ground Porcini Powder
1 Head of Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Lemon Juice
Organic Chicken Stock
Dried Tarragon


1. Rub the pork loin with salt, olive oil, and garlic. Sear on all sides, including ends, stud with garlic, season with pepper, cover with aluminum foil, bake at 300F until an internal temperature of 155F is reached. Deglaze roasting juices with water, reduce, reserve, season to taste.

2. Peel and cut carrot into thick discs. Place discs in saute pan, add chicken stock to cover, cook over medium high heat until carrots have absorbed the stock. Remove carrot, add olive oil to pan, heat, then sear carrots on both sides until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Peel and cut parsnips into large chunks, boil in salted water until tender, drain water, puree parsnips using immersion blender, season with salt, pepper, and a small splash of olive oil.

4. Trim asparagus and reserve trimmings, blanch stalks in water with a pinch of salt and a splash of lemon juice. Reduce liquid. Reserve. In a small saucier, boil trimmings until soft. In a blender, combine trimmings, and 3 stalks of asparagus, salt, pepper, and olive oil, blend until smooth. 

5. Clean and slice mushrooms. Heat saucier over low heat, add mushrooms and cover. Check periodically and stir to prevent excessive browning. After most of the liquid from the mushrooms has been extracted, add porcini mushroom powder, and stir to combine. Add reserved roasting juices Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and tarragon. 

6. Remove outer layers of cabbage, separate leaves, slice into fine julienne. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat, add cabbage, stir to prevent burning, cook uncovered until lightly browned, cover and reduce to medium low, check occasionally and stir. Cook cover for approximately 10 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Homemade Pork Sausage and White Bean Casserole

So, to make this is fairly simple. I don't really have much to say, other than I've never made this before, it's not a cassoulet, and it is still delicious. Also, I don't know why I waited so damn long to make sausages, they're really not that hard to make, and are just so damn nice. The basic method is to season the meat mixture, add more salt than you'd normally use to season something to help the meat bind together, roll spoonfuls of the mixture in plastic wrap and twist then tie off the ends. Then simmer them in hot water until firm, then brown in a frying pan with hot oil whole. Then slice.

Pretty tasty.


4 Homemade Pork Sausages (Cooked and sliced)
300g Dried Navy Beans
2 Medium Sized Carrots (Diced)
2 Turnips (Peeled, Diced, Parboiled)
2 Stalks of Celery (Washed, Diced)
1 Green Pepper (Diced)
1 Medium Onion (Sliced)
1 Can Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
Granulated Garlic


1. Caramelize sliced onion over low heat in frypan, when caramelized, add carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened, add half can of tomato paste and mix until well coated.

2. In a roasting pan, add the parboiled turnips, the onion tomato paste mixture and the other remaining ingredients except the olive oil, garlic, and tomato paste. Bake covered at 300F for 30 minutes.

3. Uncover, spread remaining tomato paste over the top, add garlic, and a few splashes of olive oil then broil at 450F for 5-10 minutes until oil is no longer visible and tomato paste has darkened.

RAW! and wriggling. I should make these more often.


450g Ground Pork
1 Tablespoon of Fine Sea Salt
2 Tablespoons of Dried Herb De Provence
5 Cloves of Garlic


1. Wrap cloves of garlic in aluminum foil and roast in oven at 300F for 30 minutes. Mash out roasted garlic and press smooth.

2. Mix all ingredients. Then spoon onto plastic wrap and roll into cylinder, twist and tie off the ends.

3. Simmer in hot water until sausages are firm then remove the sausages to cold water.

4. Brown sausages in hot oil on all sides.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seared Salmon, Roasted Cauliflower Puree, Bok Choy

So, this was really my first time cooking salmon at home and buying a whole filet, removing pin bones, and portioning. And also, this was really the first time I fully embraced the Four Hour Body Diet. I'm pretty sure this meal is compliant, and also fairly delicious and relatively simple to prepare. Both my girl and I have decided to try the diet and although we started only 4 days ago as of this writing, its already showing signs of working, especially on the scale. The salmon was seared in a hot pan with a bit of unfiltered olive oil and brushed with a bit of lemon, olive oil and dill, the bok choy was boiled and then coated with a small amount of sesame oil. The roasted cauliflower and garlic puree was made in the oven, then combined and pureed and again, mixed with a tiny bit of unfiltered olive oil and salt and pepper. The whole grain mustard is store bought.

Salmon in general, looks better than it tastes.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Steak, Turnips, Potatoes, Parsley

So, not much to say really, I'm going to make the Chili of Chili's this week for competitive reasons and here is a  steak that I made for my girl because she asked for steak, turnips and potatoes. The turnips were boiled, then smashed and mixed with butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. The potatoes were roasted in the oven in homemade chicken stock then seasoned. The steak was seasoned with salt and olive oil then pan seared and then seasoned again with some pepper. The parsley was torn and put on the plate. The steak was left kind of medium rare and was cut from a sirloin tip roast. It had an odd lateral muscle running through the entire bottom half. I'm going to have to be careful for stuff like that when butchering one again.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast, Creamed Spinach, Instamash, Roasted Grape Tomato and Bread

So, this was a cheat dinner for me as I really didn't put much effort into making it really. Still good, but not especially elaborate. I do really love oven roasting tomatoes, they are explosions of flavour! The ratio of ease to deliciousness is through the roof. Statistically, they should be included in every meal. It really does work best with grape tomatoes though. They perform well under pressure and maximum performance is essential in a cheat dinner. Also, I have three bottles of unfiltered Italian olive oil that I love finding excuses to use as a flavour additive. This meal kind of happened because my mother went to the washroom at Costco before taking me home, and I bought a few things while I was waiting. Normally you can't really but small portions of things but I found a small (small for Costco) piece of Inside Round, which is pretty damn perfect for Pot Roast, and they had a delicious spreadable cheese, flavoured with Garlic and Herb de Provence called Boursin on sale, so I bought that too, and the rest kind of fell into place.


Baguette or other Crusty Bread
30 Grape Tomatoes
Unfiltered Olive Oil (Or other nicely flavoured oil)
Dried Basil

Inside Round Roast
1 lbs Spinach (Washed and Trimmed)
Instamash (Plus ingredients for instamash preparation)
100 ml Milk
100g Boursin
30ml Worsterschire Sauce
15ml Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil


Roast Tomatoes on Bread

1. Roast tomatoes under broiler element on a sheet pan until softened. Remove and allow to cool slightly then drizzle with olive oil and basil. Serve on bread.

Pressure Cooker Pot Roast, Creamed Spinach, Instamash

1. Sear inside round on all sides. 

2. Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Worsterschire Sauce, and Dijon Mustard and 300ml cold water in pressure cooker and turn on, to heat up. Add meat when pressure cooker has heated and pressure cook for 40 minutes at full pressure.

3. Wilt spinach in a dry saucepan on medium heat in batches. Squeeze spinach to remove excess liquid. Clean out saucepan then add milk and boursin, heat on medium heat and stir until combined. Add wilted spinach and  stir over heat for 3 minutes. Then remove from heat.

4. Using an immersion blender, pulse cut the spinach slightly to make for a medium smooth texture.

5. Prepare instamash according to package directions.

6. Slice roast and plate with spinach and mash, season to taste, serve with more dijon mustard.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Veal Picatta, Roast Potatoes, Dry Fried Vegetables, Roast Mushrooms. Dobos Torte.

So, technically, this is not a normal post, as this was what I made for my mother for her birthday dinner. Since my girl was still there, eating with us, it still technically counts. My mother is Hungarian, and loves Dobos Torte and I never really understood why, as for me, Dobos always seems lacklustre, and I never really understood the caramel top layer as it was thick and impossible to cut through. Now, having made the cake myself, I finally get it. It was delicious. The bitter caramel balances out the rest of the cake and it becomes a balanced slice of deliciousness. Also, controlling the thickness of the caramel layer and keeping it relatively thin and allowing it to cool slowly and soak into the top layer really helps a fork get through. Also, for some reason, my mother really loves Veal Picatta, and although, I didn't love it, she really did, so that was good. I apparently put too much parsley on things. Also, I have to give credit to SmittenKitchen for her recipe for the Dobos Torte.

Veal Picatta with Confit Garlic and Fresh Parsley 



750g Veal Scallopini
250 ml White White
150 ml Chicken Stock
40g Butter (More for Cooking) 
Juice of 1 Lemon
Capers (Mostly Drained)
Floured Plate (For dredging the Veal)
1 Head of Garlic (Peeled and Separated)
1 Handful of Fresh Parsley (Washed, Chopped Semi-Coarsely)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, add olive to 1/4 inch full and add garlic cloves. Cover and leave to confit. About 40 minutes.

2. Dredge the veal, dust off, place on second plate.

3. In a large frypan, on medium high heat, heat olive oil and butter, when just barely smoking hot, add veal in single layer batches, brown on both sides, remove to clean plate and reserve. Continue cooking remaining veal in this manner. Add butter and oil as needed when absorbed or burned off.

4. With frypan on the heat, add white wine to deglaze and scrape the pan and stir the sediment into the sauce. Heat wine until reduced by half then add chicken stock, lemon juice, capers, and 40g butter. Stir until sauce has thickened then add the browned veal scallopini pieces to the frypan and fold them into the sauce. 

5. Cook for about 4 minutes, then add the confit garlic cloves. Reserve oil from confit garlic.

6. Remove and arrange veal pieces to serving plate, ladle sauce on and around the veal. Add parsley on top. Drizzle reserved oil from the confit garlic saucepan onto veal and around.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Oven Roasted Potatoes and Mushrooms

Oven Roasting is smart.

4 Large Russet Potatoes (Peeled, Washed, Cubed)
12 Mushrooms (Cleaned and Halfed)
Italian Seasoning  Really any spices works here.
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


1. In a large bowl, place, cubed potatoes, olive oil to coat, spices to coat. Mix to coat evenly.

2. Pour onto baking sheet and place in a 425F oven until crispy, turn occasionally to promote even browning.

3. Place the mushrooms, flat side down, on the baking sheet, with the potatoes after the first turning.

Dry Fried Vegetables
In general this is more of a technique than a recipe. And would work for most vegetables. 

People that say they don't like vegetables are cooking them all wrong.

1. Place vegetables in a dry non-stick frypan and cook over medium heat uncovered until some browning occurs then season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp, turning occasionally.

Dobos Torte
This delicious cake is made from several alternating layers of very thin semi-firm sponge and chocolate buttercream; the top layer is caramelized sugar. Very simple, not really that many ingredients, but very delicious.

Ingredients and Directions

200g Egg Yolk (10 Egg Yolks)
200g Egg Whites (7 Egg Whites)
454g Icing Sugar
15g Lemon Juice
95g All Purpose Flour
Butter for Greasing

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F and prepare 2 12"x18" baking sheets with buttered parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale and thickened. Add the sugar in 4 batches, beating until absorbed. Add the flour and beat until well mixed. Add lemon juice and beat until well mixed. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl and with clean whips, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

4. Fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in four batches. Gently pour half of mixture onto each prepared baking sheet and gently spread evenly onto sheet to form one single thin layer.

5. Bake both sheets in upper half of oven for approximately 10 minutes, alternating shelf layer half way through. Bake until cake is golden brown on top and semi-firm to touch.

6. Remove sheets from oven, place flat side of a cake rack onto each cake layer. Flip sheet over leaving rack correctly oriented and parchment layer up. Peel parchment layer off completely, place second cake rack, flat side down, on back side of cake layer, flip again and remove cake rack from top layer of cake, leaving correctly oriented cake layer on correctly oriented cake rack. Also, apparently it works to somehow dust your cake racks with icing sugar, I didn't really see how that was possible as the icing sugar simple slips right off the cake rack.

7. Leave to cool then cut each sheet into 4 large rectangles to make 8 rectangles total. Layer each sheet with parchment in between and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Buttercream
454g Dark Chocolate
454g Butter (Softened, Salted or Unsalted)
80g Egg Yolk (4 Egg Yolks)
16g Icing Sugar
10ml (2 Tsp) Vanilla Extract

1. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Set aside.

2. In another bowl, beat the softened butter until smooth add the egg yolks, vanilla, and icing sugar, mix till combined. Then add the chocolate and mix again until combined. Allow to come to room temperature before spreading on cake layers.

3. To assemble the cake, place the bottom sponge layer on parchment paper and apply liberal amounts of buttercream icing on each layer, spreading with an offset spatula or knife from the centre outwards. Reserve and set aside 1 layer for the caramel top and spread buttercream icing on and around outside the cake to seal.

Caramel Top Layer
112g (1/2 Cup) Granulated Sugar
15g (1 Tbsp) Cold Water

1. Place reserved sponge layer on well lined parchment paper sheet pan.

2. Stir cold water and sugar in a cold saucepan till combined.

3. Heat on medium high heat until mixture appears medium amber then pour the mixture evenly onto the sponge layer. Allow to cool then place on top of the cake. Refrigerate before serving.

Sooooo nice!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Ricotta Basil Tortellini in Tomato Broth and Beef Tenderloin Bearnaise and Wild Mushroom Risotto

Pretty, but too salty.

If you think dry Risotto isn't real Risotto, go f*ck yerself. 
So, Valentine's Day, a nice opportunity to justify a slightly nicer than normal meal, a good reason to spend a little more on ingredients for a single meal than one normally might.