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.