Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dry Aged Beef Ribs

So, I feel like people make a fairly big deal out of ribs. Probably because most people think they're difficult to make, and probably because when done right, ribs are really delicious, and probably because there is something very primal about them that when evoked people really enjoy. This particular method works amazingly well with the dry aged beef ribs I had on hand, but it would work equally well with any kind of ribs. Additionally, when cooking them in that manner outlined below, they really don't need sauce as they still contain an amazing amount of moisture and flavour. I did however sauce them with a Cinnamon BBQ Sauce I had made, because it made them even better.

Ribs are pretty delicious.


1 Kg Dry Aged Beef Ribs


1. Liberally season ribs, wrap tightly with aluminum foil.

2. Place foil wrapped ribs on baking sheet and into a 95C oven for 12 hours. 6 hours on bake, 6 hours on broil.

3. Gently remove from foil and separate ribs from each other. Sauce gingerly, or eat as is.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sous Vide Omelette and Breaded Tomatoes

A wonderfully shaped omelette with amazing texture.

So, this is going to be really quick. Perhaps the best way to make an omelette if you're looking for a delicate curd with no browning, and truly one of the most delicious uses for tomatoes.

Sous Vide Omelette

Note: If using wet omelette fillings, like tomatoes, mushrooms, or anything with a great deal of water, they should be pre-cooked before adding to the eggs. If using any raw ingredients, such as potatoes or anything else that typically has a long cooking time, it should most definitely be cooked before adding to the omelette. If using anything where a crisp texture is desired, like bacon, also pre-cook before adding to the beaten eggs. Also, you can make a larger omelette with more eggs, a bigger saucepan, and a bigger sealing bag.

2 Eggs
Omelette Filling
Salt, Pepper
Sealing sandwich bag

1. Beat eggs and season then pour into sandwich bag.

2. Add fillings, seal bag while retaining a good amount of air in the bag.

3. Pre-heat a saucepan of water on medium high heat then place sealed omelette bag into water and leave until it solidifies on the outside and expands and begins to fill the bag.

4. Reduce heat to medium low and unseal bag, and lower carefully into water until the omelette is submerged but the sealing strip is still above the water. The water pressure will actually help to push the air out of the bag and allow you to get a good seal around the omelette. Seal the sealing strip and leave to cooking until the omelette appears cooked through in the centre. 

5. Remove from bag before serving and serve warm.

Breaded Tomatoes

All Purpose Flour
Granulated Garlic Powder

1. Slice tomatoes into 2cm thickness slices. 

2. Crumb slices in a standard three step flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumb process.

3. Bake on an oiled baking sheet at 190C for about 10 minutes, then flip and cook for another 10 minutes.

4. Sprinkle with Granulated Garlic Powder when done baking and serve warm.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Aged Strip Steak With Compound Butter, Baked Potato, Roasted Dressed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Tomato Goat Cheese Salad

 So, my girl had a hard couple of weeks, so I thought I would make her a nice meal. She's kind of a meat and potatoes kind of girl, which I guess is ok, but even I get a little, "overmeated" when making food for her. This recipe is particularly good for the sole reason that I aged the steaks in the fridge for 48 hours before cooking them, and only seared the top side of the steak and then put the entire pan in the oven with the steaks to finish the cooking process. Also, the Brussels sprouts are made by first roasting some bacon, and then roasting the sprouts in the bacon fat. It should be noted the technique for the sprouts are circulating the internet as a David Chang technique, a man, who is probably also circulating the internet. The idea of aging the steaks, is something picked up from watching Heston Blumenthal. It's a real showpig dinner. Oh, also, using compound butter on the steak, that's something I learned from my older sister, who is a professional chef, and a great cook. Compound butter on steak is probably a classic steakhouse thing and probably a french thing. Regardless, aging steak, not overcooking them, and using compound butter makes for an ultra delicious piece of meat. Showpig. Umm, it should be noted that for some reason, I'm going to write a terrible, incomplete recipe for these particular items.

This Boursin Goats' Cheese tasted very goaty.

I kind of wish I had made a pan sauce.

Mmm, compound butter.

This has an artichoke and basil dressing on it too...

Recipe and Directions

Roasted Dressed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

1. Roast bacon on a lined baking sheet until crisp, remove and reserve bacon.

2. Wash and halve Brussels sprouts, toss lightly with salt. Roast cut side down in bacon fat, then turn and continue.

3. Combine artichoke puree, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, dried basil.

4. Combine sprouts with bacon and dressing. Serve warm.

Steak and Baked Potato

1. Place steaks on a wire rack over a baking sheet and cover with a J Cloth and refrigerate for 48 hours. 

2. Place salted butter on sheet of plastic wrap, season with marjoram, parsley, garlic powder, and pepper. Work to combine herbs, then roll into log, freeze, then slice into discs before serving.

3. Season aluminum foil with salt and pepper, place Russet or Yukon Gold potato on seasoned foil, wrap, and baked in 180C oven check for doneness, and turn when bottom side feels cooked.

4. Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Rub with grapeseed oil and salt.

5. Place steaks in hot pan, oil side down, rub top side with grapeseed oil and salt, cook until crust forms and steaks release from pan, turn steaks, and place pan in hot oven. Cook to 55C for medium doneness. Rest before serving, and top with compound butter disc.

Tomato and Goats Cheese Salad

What you see in the photo above is what you get. Cut tomatoes into slices, season them, top them with goats cheese, drizzle with basil oil.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tandoori Chicken, Garlic Chili Asparagus, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Shittake Mushrooms

So, this was a pretty delicious meal. And although my girl wasn't feeling very well before eating this meal, she still enjoyed the food. Although she did happen to ask if I had put aliens in the chicken. Which I told her "of course I did, that's why it tastes so good."

Ingredients and Directions

Tandoori Chicken
2kg Chicken Breasts
1kg Plain Yogurt
5 Tbsp Tandoor Spice
2 Tbsp Granulated Garlic Powder
50g Cold Salted Butter (Cut into chunks)

1. Butterfly the chicken breasts. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and marinate for 6 hours, or if possible until the next day.

2. Broil the chicken breasts on a roasting rack or wire rack in an oven until blackened. Cook to 71 degrees Celsius then remove and rest. Chop in chunks and reserve.

3. Heat remaining marinade over medium heat until slightly bubbling and curdled then reduce heat, whisk in butter, add chicken, stir through. Serve.

Chili and Garlic Asparagus
1kg Asparagus (Washed and Trimmed)
25g Salted Butter
Grapeseed Oil
Salt and Pepper
Granulated Garlic Powder
Cayenne Pepper

1. Heat butter and oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add asparagus in batches, cook until tender crisp, season with salt and pepper, and garlic and cayenne.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Shittake Mushrooms
1kg Brussel Sprouts (Washed and Trimmed)
500g Shittake Mushrooms
25g Salted Butter
Grapeseed Oil
Salt and Pepper

Brussel Sprouts

1. Roast the brussel sprouts whole in a 205C oven for 25 minutes on a parchment lined sheetpan. 

2. Half each brussel sprout and toss in grapeseed oil and salt. Return to the sheetpan, cut side down, roast for 15 minutes. Toss again with salt and pepper. Serve.

Shittake Mushrooms

1. Remove stems and reserve. 

2. Over medium high heat in wide frying pan add butter and oil, heat until butter melts and oil is hot, add mushrooms, cap side down, cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 additional minute. Season with salt and pepper, toss in pan. Serve.

Note: Reserved stems can be used to make a stock which can be reduced and used as a sauce over the mushrooms.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roast Pork, Chili Beans. Rutabaga. Onion Jam.

There is too much food on this plate.

So, I like roast pork, I like beans, and I like rutabaga, and I even like onion jam, and so does my girl. Which makes this meal an easy sell for her. The combination does taste fairly good together, but wouldn't necessarily have to be combined in this fashion.

Roast Pork

1 4kg Pork Tenderloin
150ml Dijon Mustard
50ml Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Ea Dried Thyme and Dried Rosemary

1. Sear pork tenderloin on all sides in a very hot, oiled, frying pan until browned on all sides.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl to form a seasoning paste, then apply generously to all sides of the pork tenderloin.

3. Place on a roasting rack and over a pan and roast in a 95C oven until an internal temperature of 61C is reached. Rest the pork for 30 minutes then broil at 300C in the oven until well browned. Rest again before slicing and serving. Serve warm.

Chili Beans

1 600ml Can Red Kidney Beans (Rinsed and Drained)
1 600ml Can Large Lima Beans (Rinsed and Drained)
2 Medium to Large Carrots (Peeled and Sliced)
6 Stalks Celery (Cleaned and Sliced)
2 Onions (Peeled and Chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (Peeled and Minced)
1 150ml Can Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Chili Powder

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil then add celery, carrots, and onions and cook until softened, then add tomato paste, and stir through. Add garlic and beans and chili powder, stir through then add water to cover and cook until flavours are well combined. Season to taste.

Mashed Rutabaga

1 Rutabaga (Peeled and cut into consistent medium dice)
30g Butter
120ml Milk

1. Boil rutabaga until tender in a saucepan of lightly salted water. Drain then mash, then add butter and mash until combined, then add milk, and mash until combined.

Onion Jam

2 Onions (Peeled and Sliced)
Meat Drippings
1/2 Tbsp Dried Rosemary

1. Cook down onions over low heat in a covered saucepan until softened and then begin to stick this initial process usually takes about 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium high and cook until caramelization occurs, deglaze with water, continue to cook until water evaporates and the onions recaramelize then deglaze again and repeat. Repeat this process until the onions are evenly caramelized throughout, then add meat drippings and rosemary and cook until well combined over low heat. Season to taste. Serve warm.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Triple Cooked French Fries (Chips)

So, forget for a moment that the the photo of above is not simply french fries, and is in fact Poutine with beef brisket, and focus on the simply the fries in the photo. Once you make these fries, you can use them for a myriad of applications, including fries supreme; with chili, sour cream, cheese, and green onions and such. Or simply enjoyed without any adulteration. Which in the case of these fries, might be advisable, because they really are that good. The technique is taken from high level master chef Heston Blumenthal and is simple, but perhaps more labour intensive than most people would expect from a way to make french fries. However, as he says about his fries, they have a wonderful glassy exterior, and a fluffy interior, and they almost instantly shatter and dissolve in your mouth, delivering wonderful potato flavour.


Deep Frying Oil (Corn, Grapeseed, Sunflower, Safflower, Canola, Avocado)

This works best with dry type baking potatoes. In Canada, the best choices are White Potatoes, Russet, Yukon Gold. Do not use Redskin, Russian Blues, or any other highly starchy boiling potatoes.

1. Peel potatoes then cut into consistent thickness planks then cut planks into consistent sized batons. You're cutting french fries. Cut them the way you like your fries, but be consistent with the way you cut them to make it easier to cook them evenly. Place batons in a saucepan of cold water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the handle of a spoon or fork easily penetrates the fries with little effort.

2. Remove from heat and carefully remove the fries from the water and drain them in a sieve or a colander. The fries are extremely delicate at this point, be very careful not to break them. After draining them, line them on a tray lined with parchment paper and place them in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool. 

3. Heat a saucepan of oil to 150C (300F) and cook the cooled fries until lightly golden. This usually takes about 3 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding oil. Be quick in putting in the fries, but be careful not to burn yourself. Remove fries and drain on a paper towel lined tray, then chill in the fridge again for 30 minutes on a clean tray. If you are serving these fries later, you can do up to step three ahead of time, and leave the last step until just before serving. 

4. Heat a saucepan of oil to 190C (375F) and cook the cooled fries from step 3 until golden. Again, cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the oil. Remove fries from oil, toss in a bowl with salt, serve.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gnocchi with Spinach Pesto and Yogurt Cheese

So, this stuff isn't really that big a deal to make, and gnocchi in general requires a "chill" attitude towards making, and eating. There is a great deal of ink spilled telling you how difficult, time consuming, and important gnocchi is, but it's actually easy, and also, delicious. I prefer my gnocchi slightly firmer, but nowhere near as firm as the stuff sold commercially, but I honestly don't really like stuff that dissolves in your mouth either. Also, for shock value, mostly because it doesn't really matter, I microwave my potatoes, and then use a box grater on them, so, anyone that says you have to bake them, or, you have to boil them then dry them out, and use a potato ricer, its not really true. Also, gnocchi is really about feel, and you should make them whatever length and size you really feel like, I vary them slightly when I make them, partially because I don't really care, and partially because I like it, when it comes to cooking them, I do group them by size though and cook them in size batches, just to ensure even cooking.

Also, gnocchi are really, really fast to make, and for some reason, lots of people find them impressive. Probably because they don't know how easy or fast they are to make. Also, with regards to sauce, you can eat them any way you want, I made them this way because I had some spinach I wanted to use up, and I'm allergic to nuts, so I don't eat pesto most of the time. However, gnocchi are good with tomato or cream based sauces, butter and herbs, butter and cheese, and simply even olive oil and salt and pepper, or honestly, without anything at all. Honestly, you could even use them in a stew, or a soup, or a curry, they'd be equally as good.

Also, Pesto and Yogurt Cheese, two things everyone should make, are included below. And pesto, like gnocchi is a touch and feel thing, you can make it to taste and some people like to add enough oil that it splits out, it's really about what you like. Yogurt cheese is so simple and with such a big payoff its ridiculous, it's like cream cheese, but, if you use fat free Greek yogurt, it's basically fat free cream cheese that tastes better than cream cheese! You can use other yogurt, and even fruit yogurt for the process, its all good. The process is simple, and the less whey in the yogurt, the quicker the process.


Serves 2

1 Potato (Approx 240g)
4 Heaping Spoonfuls All Purpose Flour (Approx 40g, some for kneading)
1 Large Egg 65g (Beaten)
Salt, Pepper

1. Wash and clean potato, remove eyes or black spots. Pierce all over then microwave on high, 3 minutes in a 1200W microwave. Flip potato over in microwave, and repeat again on high for 3 minutes.

2. Wear gloves or allow potato to cool for about 7 minutes, cut in half and grate flesh into a bowl, discard peel. I usually eat the peel with salt and pepper, it's delicious, and contains a great deal of vitamin C.

3. Lightly toss potato flesh in the bowl with a spoon to allow them to cool slightly then add beaten egg and salt and pepper, stir to combine. Then add flour, stir until dough forms into a large ball then turn out onto floured board.

4. Gently knead on floured board until dough stops being tacky. This usually takes only a few minutes, gnocchi dough requires nowhere near the same amount of kneading as bread dough.

5. Form dough into long finger thickness ropes, then cut ropes into knuckle sized pieces. If you have a gnocchi board, use it to create the traditional ridges. They don't REALLY do much for the gnocchi, but they're very appealing to the eye. See below for a pretty chill video on using a gnocchi board.

6. Boil pieces in lightly salted boiling water, gnocchi are cooked, and ready to be scooped out when they've floated for about 30 seconds. Drain gnocchi fairly well, coat lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper for serving. Keep warm until pesto or sauce is ready then combine and serve.


Small Batch

1 Cup Baby Spinach (Approx, Cleaned)
1/4 Cup Unfiltered Olive Oil
1 Clove Raw Garlic
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tsp each Salt and Pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and combine well. If using as a sauce for gnocchi, warm slightly then combine with warm gnocchi.

Yogurt Cheese

1 500g Container of Greek Yogurt
This yogurt is already thick, so the process is really quick, thinner yogurt takes longer to drain, and will yield less yogurt cheese.

1. Line a fine mesh sieve with paper towel and place it into a bowl large enough that the sieve sits without falling out, and with at least 10cm of clearance from the bottom of the bowl.

2. Pour the yogurt into the paper towel lined sieve, cover with more paper towel or fold sides of paper towel back over the yogurt.

3. Refrigerate for 24 hours or until about as firm as cream cheese. Discard liquid or use to flavour sauces, stews, soups, or curries. It's a slightly acquired taste though and is essentially whey protein, which some people drink to build muscle. Just taste it before using it in a sauce.