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.