Sunday, December 07, 2008

My First Pickling attempt!

Hey Everyone!

Pickled Eggs are by far one of my favourite treats and snacks :D So I have decided that I would Scow er the Internet and Give it a shot for myself!

I found numerous home recipes and versions of Pickled eggs and I decided to try out a Spicy Egg version ( I love Spicy foods).

I found that its not a very long or difficult process and was quiet fun to try out and seemed to be very type of recipe you can manipulate to what you would like. So enough of Jabbering Let walk my way back threw what I had created.


3 cups apple cider

2 cup white vinegar

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoon mixed pickling spice

2 clove peeled garlic

1 sliced onion

1 teaspoon mustard seed

Lots of Baby hot peppers :D

16 Eggs

a couple bay leaves

Okay Okay! So now we have all the fixings all ready to go, I first Started by Getting the Eggs in a Pot with Water and a Touch of salt to get things moving! Then Once they were boiling away I turned down the heat to a soft boil, and leave them at that for about 15 minutes, Because if you boil them real hot and quick you get that grey dis-coloration around the yolk.Then I got some of the other ingredients ready by Chopping up the Peppers, Onions, and Smashing a couple Garlic cloves, I know it only called for 2 But I'm a Garlic hound so I threw probably 4 or 5 in and about :D

Okay now that these are ready and off to the side, I turned my attention to the spices! Now on the box it says to uses a cheese cloth to put you pickling spice in to, But I completely forgot to get some so I figured a Coffee Filter would probably do more or less the same action so I threw my pickling spice in to the filter and tied it up with a bit of thread. Then I took out a other pot and added my vinegar both in, added my salt and mustard seed and bag of pickling spice, and 2/3 of my chopped veggies, and the few bay leaves. Then started to bring them to a boil. ( I did this once the Eggs were done because I will take a few minutes to peel the eggs so let that put away while your busy peeling)

SO now all the eggs are peeled and the Spice and liquid is started to boil away, So I think its time for a Glass of Wine :P :D and Time to throw some of the raw Veggies in the bottom of my Mason Jars

Now that your mixture is boiled up for about 10-15 min So everything has soaked in and the flavours are floating around you will have a kitchen full of pickling aroma :P Putt the Eggs and raw veggies in the jars in kinda layers then take out the Baggie from the liquid and then you take hot Liquid and pour it all over until your eggs are covered up by the liquid. Then Throw the Lids on and Make sure there nice and Real tight! Then I threw them in the Fridge and I will open them up here in about 2-3 weeks and we will see if it was a success, If they were I'm thinking Pickled Beats and Pickles will be coming up in the near future! :D

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beef Fajitas Wraps

I've made beef fajita wraps only a couple of times, on the same weekend, with the same marinated beef. I unfortunately didn't write down the recipe for such an amazingly delicious result. So, today I decided to recreate that experience as close as possible, for better or for worse. However, I expect it to be on the better side after smelling the marinade.

Juice of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lime
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
pinch ground cloves
2 tbsp olive oil

1 lb flank or skirt steak (grill to perfection like below)

Mix the marinade ingredients and place with steak in a ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Marinade for 2 hours or overnight.

You know that you've done a fabulous job when the meat slices like this:

These fajita wraps can be assembled any way that you like. Since we've had some wonderful organic veggies delivered every saturday, I decided to inject some of these into the wraps. I layered kale, onion, and super sweet slivered red bell peppers along with some grated extra old St. Albert cheese and then rolled up the wraps in some fresh flour tortillas. I then topped the wraps with some more cheese and placed them in the oven for about 15 minutes which not only melted the cheese, but it helped build the flavours into a kind of sauce. Basically, it helped make the wraps juicy with every bite.

The final assembly includes a delicious mexican bean salad that served as a very healthy and perfectly accompaniment to this meal. ( I also covered my wrap with Sriracha sauce which is the best chili sauce for any mexican meal). If you're at all curious about what went into the mexican bean salad, I can post this. All you need to do is ask.

From Beets to Borscht

We have a lot of beets. In fact, we have so many beets that the Go-Go's are going to have to give up the rights of that song..... "we got the beets".

Our lovely friend brought over a vegetarian cookbook that has a killer borscht recipe in it, and I happened to have a scanner so I got the idea to skip writing it down, and just scan the fucker. It may as well be posted here since it would be much more convenient to call up an image from a laptop rather than waste precious photo printer ink.

I'll post up some photos and experiences when I make this on the weekend. If anyone else wants to do the same and share it that would be foodtastic.

Borscht Page 1

Borscht Page 2

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Israeli Couscous Salad

The traditional tiny couscous as we usually recognize it isn't really my favorite. It's fine to have a dollop on the side of your plate but it's mealy, sand-like texture wears thin on me after a while.

Different is "Israeli Couscous". Also known as maftoul or pearl couscous, it - like regular couscous - is a small pasta. However, the process of being lightly toasted, lends it a pleasing, nutty flavour.

Like any pasta salad, you can do anything you like with it. I like to dress mine simply with a lemon/mustard vinaigrette and toss with finely chopped raw vegetables. For some reason, I've found this is a dish you can sneak cilantro into and people who might normally balk at this most divisive of herbs immediately go "what is that", searching for the source of their delight.

My being always late to the party, this is a summertime picnic/pot-luck trick to stick up your sleeve, one that always generates a bit of talk without getting too demanding on the cook.

I recently made a batch for a Sunday afternoon potluck where the hosts grilled up some delicious salmon and chicken. I won't give a recipe - it's so versatile you really can't go wrong. Except to say, I diced as finely as my patience would allow some peppers of different colours, some carrots, and some red onions, and then tossed in some parsley. I then made a Dijon mustard vinaigrette spiked with fresh lemon juice and tossed it up. This is a basic as you can get folks. Try it with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and olives with a oregano-lemon vinaigrette. Cook the couscous in red wine and beet juice and you'll have these gorgeous, ruby red pearls just waiting to be tossed with a pungent white cheese and some beautiful green herbs - looks amazing on a plate. You can toss the couscous in green pesto and serve at room temperature with some grilled vegetables on top. Anyway you do it, just make sure that you don't overcook the couscous and ALWAYS make extra - your guests will want to take some home and it goes great in a packed lunch the next day.

You won't find Israeli Couscous at every market but here in the Hamilton area, I find it fairly readily at the Denninger's chain and our local health food stores (Goodness Me). Just poke around, it's not that hard to find, although it can be expensive relative to regular pasta. I guarantee no-one else at your next potluck will have ever experienced it and for such a simple dish it can really get people talking about food, at which point you can begin to knowledgeably extol the virtues of fried sweetbreads and pickled kangaroo penis. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Other people look for porn, I look for pizza.

It's almost 1 in the morning and I'm drinkin' a beer. I'm a man. Got Randy Bachman's CBC show on the radio - he's playing Eddie Cochran, God bless him - and a container of BBQ pork beckoning me to the fridge. And yet, I cannot move. The Internet has me transfixed to........ what? Girl on girl action? Steamy amateur lovin'? A sheep dressed in PVC whipping a turtle?

No, pizza.

Oh I have dreams, you know. One day I'd like to own a house - not so much for any other reason than to make and cure my own Italian cold cuts in the cellar. And I HAVE to have one of those brick ovens in the backyard, Jamie Oliver style. I'd make pizza dough everyday and basically just survive on pizza. Crack an egg on it, add some ham, bake it off = breakfast. Leftovers on dough = lunch. Some of my cured meats with a crumble of buffalo mozzarella and - hey what the hell - a veggie or two = dinner. For a change I'd make a nice calzone every once in a while.

But until those dreams come true, I look online for encouraging signs that the universe is in its pomp and that the stars are aligned just so, and I offer exhibit A.1:

Now, this is my kind of manifesto. First, these devilish Michigan bastards put paid to the nancypants idea of a "small" pizza. Then they laugh at the "rabbit food" like qualities of their competitors' MEATS! They had me at "to call it meat is worse than an exaggeration, it's lying."

Well, wipe the drool from my quivering lips and put a cloth over my hard-on..... if only this place had pictures of their wares, I'd be humping my computer screen and biting on a rag.

Like I said, somewhere - probably just down my apartment hall - some dude is witnessing something probably borderline illegal involving a Senator and a grade school "gifted" class but for me, it's all about the sweet, sweet 'za.

I'm pretty sure Mike is gonna regret giving me a spot on the Foodeeze blog.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter

Since we received Sage, but no pumpkin in the last Bryson's organic delivery, we had to go out of our house and actually BUY pumpkin. We took a shortcut and bought pureed pumpkin, keeping sure not to purchase any spiced pumpkin meant for pie filling at halloween which also happens to be around the corner.

The ravioli were made with Gow Gee (wonton) wrappers that we had leftover from a night of dumplings a couple of weeks earlier. They keep forever in their sealed packet. They are essentially the same as the pasta that you would create for ravioli. Flour and water. The building blocks of all dumplings and pastas.

Since we didn't keep track of our own recipe for this, I found a similar recipe on the internets that takes it up a notch by adding flavour through carmelization. This is really simple and elegant.

Make as many as you want. These freeze and thaw VERY well for a quick meal.

for the ravioli

1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
1 cup ricotta cheese (use fresh if you've got it, otherwise drain the storebought cheese in cheesecloth for an hour)
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp basalmic vinegar
1 Tbsp dark molasses
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
.25 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
wonton wrappers

for the sage sauce

4 Tbsp butter
6 diced sage leaves
4 large whole sage leaves, for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread squash puree on a baking sheet and place in oven to dry, 10-15 minutes. You want your puree to be at a mashed-potato consistency. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.

Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a small sautee pan over medium heat until it begins to brown. Remove from heat, swirl in basalmic vinegar and molasses. Add to the pumpkin along with the ricotta, Parmesan, and nutmeg. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, chill for a couple of hours. At this point the filling can be refrigerated for 1-2 days.

Lay out your wonton wrappers--I use wonton wrappers because I don't make pasta. If you make pasta, knock yourself out. Put a small mound (abut half a Tbsp.) of the chilled pumpkin filling in the center of a wonton. Using a small pastry brush, moisten all of the edges with a little cold water. Fold the wonton in half, firmly pressing the seam, forming either a triangle or a rectangle. Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling. You can freeze these uncooked raviolis, in a single layer, for 1 month. Cook the raviolis in gently boiling water for 2 minutes.

While the raviolis are cooking, melt the remaining butter with the sage and a pinch of salt until it foams and begins to brown. Remove whole sage leaves and drain on a paper towel (they will be a crispy, pretty garnish). Continue to swirl the butter sauce until it turns a rich chestnut brown.

Now, you can either spoon the sacue over your raviolis in their serving bowls, or you can toss the ravioli in the butter before serving. Either way, serve with grated Parmesan cheese, a couple of fried sage leaves and a nice green salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bryson Farms delivery for 08-30-2008

Week one of our organic veggie delivery from Bryson's Farms was a great experience. We used pretty much everything in the week creating new and exciting recipes like a summer squash with chorizo pasta salad, baby fennel and microgreen salad, garlic roasted fingerling potatoes, 7 alarm heirloom tomato salsa, and many other dishes that I cannot possibly name.

This week we've received roughly the same proportion of vegetables, and another bounty of heirloom tomatoes. Additions this week are the bunch of large basil leaves, fresh sage, a different type of potato (baby red?), white radish and another kind of microgreen. Missing is that mysterious russian sage which we never figured out a food application for, and the fingerlings (which were incredible). Another 4 ears of tasty corn are a treat.

We've only got one idea so far, squash ravioli with butter-sage sauce. We'll probably get creative with the plentiful tomatoes. Obvious choice will be a soup, and probably a tomato sauce. I saw simple serving on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations that proved raw radish are delicious served with butter. Unfortunately, we didn't get any radishes! oh well, maybe next week.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bryson Farms - Organic Veggie Delivery

We have just started receiving weekly deliveries of vegetables and herbs from Bryson Farms located north of Shawville, Quebec, just an hour from Ottawa. We did not know what to expect, and it certainly felt like Christmas morning while we anticipated what Santa would leave us. It is very inspiring to receive a bunch of unexpected veggies as you are at the mercy of the crop which is a great challenge even for the most aspiring home chef's.

Upon opening the cooler, this is what we were greeted to...

After sorting through the veggie package we discovered the following vegetables...

  • Various heirloom tomatoes (tons! they dominated the delivery)
  • Summer Squash
  • Fingerling potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Baby Fennel
  • Mangels (a type of beet)
  • Sweet Corn
  • Microgreens
  • Greens
I'm probably going to spend a lot of time visiting this tomato page in order to identify the various tomatoes that we'll get each week this season. The red zebra tomato is very unique and gorgeous.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Indonesian Beef Satay with Indo Fried Rice

Here we go.  We dove right into the Indonesian sweet soya sauce, Kecap Manis, and the spicy addition of something that's been in our refrigerator, Sambal Olek.  In Chinatown we picked up a pound of beef sirloin tip for about $4.50, 1 kg chicken breast for about $5, and 300 grams Prawns for about $4.  This is a great load of protein for many meals to come.

So tonight we made some beef satay and indonesian fried rice.  This was how it went down.

Beef Satay

1/4 cup Kecap Manis
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1 thai chili pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot

Add cubed beef to marinade and let sit refrigerated for about 4 hours.  I let it sit for about 2 and a half hours, and then brought it out of the fridge for another 30 minutes so the meat could warm up before we skewered it. 

Put 3-4 pieces on water soaked skewers and lay them out on your hot charcoal grill that you have prepared.  You can use any other hot cooking method that you want, but the charcoal grilling method is probably the best way to really caramelize the sugars coating your skewers.

Now for the Rice.  Make sure that you use rice that you've cooked and cooled.  That means either leftover long grain rice, or cook some rice and let it sit for a few hours.

Indonesian Rice

350 g long grain leftover rice
2 tbsp oil
3 eggs
1 onion
2 tbsp sambal olek (a type of chili sauce)
2 clove garlic
3 scallions sliced thin
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
250 gm chicken, small diced
250 gm prawns (about 10 medium sized)
3 tbsp kecap manis (indonesian ketchup!)

Heat your wok to medium hot, add your oil and cook the egg until it's set. Set aside the egg.  Replenish oil, and add onion garlic and Sambal Olek (or chilies).  Cook until fragrant and onion is softening.  Add spices and stir for another minute.  Add the chicken and prawns.  After a couple of minutes they'll be pretty much done so add the rice.  Add the kecap manis and chopped up egg and the scallions.

Serve with the skewers and enjoy.

Indonesian Cuisine at Home

Have you ever played around with Indonesian cuisine at home? Most of the common ingredients are very similar to thai, vietnamese, and indian cuisine. Lime leaves, galangal root, tumeric root, coconut milk, corriander, cumin, cinnamon, lime, chilies, etc. However, the one standout ingredient that seems to define it is Kecap Manis (pronounced Ketchup - read about origin of Ketchup).

So right now, I've got some beef cubes marinating in a mix of kecap, garlic, chilies, ginger, and shallot. Later, I will be skewering these and grilling them. I fully expect a gorgeous caramelized exterior.

With this, we're also making an Indonesian rice dish that is made with mostly ingredients that we usually have, with the addition of the magical sweet soy sauce called kecap manis.

I will post some photos if my wife hasn't packed my camera 

for dessert, we're going to try out an indonesian treat called es cendol that looks gross, but is probably delicious. Green "worms" (some kind of green bean flour thing), coconut milk, palm sugar syrup and crushed ice.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grilled Duck Breast by Bobby Flay

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Grilled Scallions

Our friend Jay posted on the foodeeze message board how incredibly surprisingly tasty grilled green onions really are. So, tonight with a salmon meal, we decided to take his challenge, despite the fact that he didn't challenge anyone to anything. This is most likely best used as a garnish or condiment. We draped these over our salmon and had a bit with every bite.

1 bunch scallions
olive oil

  1. Start coals and get them hot (or use a gas grill if you're a pussy.)
  2. Brush the scallions with oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. lay scallions over direct heat.
  5. turn after about 2 minutes. should have some dark spots.
  6. remove from heat after another 2 minutes.
  7. serve.

Dressed and placed on the grill.

After about 2 minutes over hot coals.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Couscous Salad

I hesitate to make this recipe public as it's such a favorite of our guests. I'd hate for everyone to know how simple it is to make! Here's an easy salad that we eat both as a main dish with a nice baguette or often as a side when we're entertaining. Sweet strawberries are a nice contrast to the spinach and slightly salty feta cheese. Note that all the food groups (grains, meat, vegetables and dairy) make this a complete and healthy meal.

This can be served warm, room temperature or cold. It's also terrific for leftovers the next day.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, pepper and vegetable oil
1 tbsp. dijon mustard (a good, grainy type is best)
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup couscous
2 cups strawberries
2 cups baby spinach, coursley chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
We often chop whatever kind of hot pepper we have in the fridge into this as well, but it's not necessary.

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brush lightly with oil. Place on the grill for 3 minutes per side. Brush with mustard, grill until no longer pink inside, 6-8 minutes.

2. Bring chicken stock to a boil, pour over couscous in a large salad bowl and cover to keep warm.

3. Slice chicken into cubes. Cut strawberries into halves or quarters (depending on size). Add couscous with spinach, green onions, feta, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice; toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Lone Star Salsa

This is quite literally the best salsa you can make at home with minimal effort and plenty of room to extend.

1-28 Oz can of dice tomatoes
3-4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced (no need to peel)
1-156 ml can of tomato paste
3 tbsp chopped jalapeno
3/4 cup Spanish or red onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh chopped garlic

put all ingredients in a blender, cuisinart or use a hand held chopper to crush all ingredients together. You can adjust the cilantro if you wish. If you like it spicy, leave in the jalapeno seeds.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Spicy Lemon Marinated Shrimp

Recently, while attending close friends' engagement party, we had the pleasure of enjoying some wonderful food that the sister of the bride-to-be served. The hit of the party was this shrimp recipe. We finally got our hands on it, so here it is!

1 large lemon
1½ tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon dried hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon plus 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons pickling spices
1 pound large (U 16/20) shrimp, shelled and deveined

Remove zest from lemons, leaving white pith behind. Squeeze 3 tablespoons lemon juice.

Finely grind coriander seeds in an electric coffee grinder (or grind with a pestle and mortar). Whisk together zest, juice, coriander, vinegar, oil, water, sugar, hot pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a large bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with pickling spices and remaining 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, and cook shrimp all at once 1½ minutes, or until just cooked through. Transfer cooked shrimp with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain and add warm shrimp to marinade, tossing to coat.

Cool shrimp slightly, and transfer to a large sealable freezer bag along with the marinade.

Place bag in a large roasting pan, keeping shrimp in a single layer. Marinate, chilled, turning bag occasionally, at least 8 hours. You can marinate the shrimp up to 3 days.

Drain shrimp before serving.

From Gourmet magazine (

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BBQ Pulled Pork - 7 hours of my life

I started the long trip to pulled pork sandwiches today with a craving that I hoped would be satisfied by 7 pm. The methods I researched gave me from 5-7 hours of bbq time. So by my math, 2 pm + 5 hours = 7 pm. Unfortunately, the optimist in my was off be a couple of hours.

The Rub

1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp chili powder

The Meat

1 Boneless pork shoulder

The Sauce

Your favourite bbq sauce. I used one that I had picked up at the Ottawa Ribfest.

The Method

Take your rub and do what it's called. Rub it all over your meat and cram it in the holes as much as possible (keep it clean). Set up your charcoal grill for indirect low heat grilling and have some soaked wood chips on hand (I used hickory). Place a drip pan under your grill where there are no coals, put the grill back on and place the shoulder fat-side up over the drip pan.

Cover the bbq, and monitor the temperature. Keep it between 250 and 300. I had it much lower than 250 for most of the cooking time, so it has taken a bit longer than my planned 5 hour smoking/grilling time. The end result should be a nice, juicy, slightly carmelized piece of meat that measures between 175 F and 190 F. I cheated and pulled it out at 160 F. We were hungry and it has to rest now for 1/2 hour covered before the pulling of the pork.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Beef with Broccoli


8 oz beef sliced thinly across the grain (I use rib or sirloin)
1 bunch broccoli
1 medium onion
1 stalk green onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot
3 slices ginger, minced

2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp broth


Mix light soy sauce, oyster sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp pepper with beef. Use your hands to mix it all in really good. Then add 1/2 tsp corn starch and 1/2 tsp sesame oil and mix that all in. Light soy doesn't add too much colour and it is a bit saltier. Oyster sauce is given considering the ethnicity of the dish and the sugar helps balance the saltiness of the oyster and soy sauces.


Cut up your broccoli florets in even pieces. Don't forget to use all of the stalks that aren't woody and dry. Make sure they are in even pieces. A 1/2 inch thick is probably good for all of the vegetables. Do the same with the carrots and onions. The green onions can be sliced in either 2 inch pieces or however you like.

Steam the vegetables:

Next, setup a vegetable steamer and add the carrots first. After 2 minutes, then add the broccoli pieces.

Precook the beef:

Add 2 tbsp oil to smoking hot wok and swirl to coat. Add beef and gently stir-fry the beef. The beef is ready when it is medium rare. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.


1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 pinch of pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp broth, 1 tsp cornstarch. Mix well and make sure that the corn starch is completely dissolved to avoid lumps.


Add green onion, onion, garlic and ginger to very hot wok. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, until you can smell the aroma. Add broccoli and carrots. Add pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, and a bit of oil to help keep the veggies green. Make sure to stir constantly and keep the heat high. Work fast!

Add the beef, but leave the released juices in the bowl. It will affect the dish. The beef will be reheated and cooked in about 1 minute. Add the sauce, and stir until thickened. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pork, Pineapple, and Lime.

With today being as hot as it was, Barbecue inspiration came in the form of juicy pineapple, acidic ime, tender pork loin and sweet molasses.   The original plan was to be something grilled.  It could have been chicken with a can of beer up its ass, or some cubes of meat, charoal grilled to a blackened crisp.

Why does Pineapple go so well with pigmeat?

And the final results.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The 2 Week Homebrew Beer Experiment

It's not much of an experiment on my part, but our local wine brewer is offering a fully contained beer homebrew kit that is so simple it has got to suck.  However, it is supposed to be quite good. I decided to be the guinea pig for the new product and run the brew process through its course and document it for future generations.  You are provided with a 2 liter bottle of your unfermented beer solution, a capsule of yeast, and a special bottle cap that includes a pressure release regulator that allows the extra gasses to escape so you don't create a beer bomb.

I'll post what I know now, and in 2 weeks, I'll get drinking and report back.

The kit.  Beer solution, special cap and capsule. Daisies not included.

Here's a closeup of the pressure regulating cap

...and finally, here are the instructions on the side of the label.  You can't get anymore ghetto than this.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vietnamese Rice Vermicelli Salad

Tonight's noodle salad came out perfectly.  Part of the success was achieved by using fresh ingredients from the Ottawa Byward Market. However, the winning move was using the previous recipe for Vietnamese dipping sauce/dressing.  Make sure to soak your vermicelli in warm water for about 20 minutes rather than boiling it.  You will get a more "Al Dente" effect this way.  Peanuts should be roasted if possible, and unsalted or you will probably end up with an imbalanced saltiness.  Try to make your julienned vegetables as thin as possible so that you can get a homogenous mixture with your noodles.  Serve about 1-2 cups of noodles in an asian Pho bowl and put a small handful of each fresh ingredient on top. Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce over your portion and add Sriracha chili sauce as desired.

1 pack Rice Vermicelli
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1 carrot, julienned
1 small cucumber, seeded and julienned
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 red pepper sliced thinly
1 or 2 thai chili peppers minced
handful of mint chopped
Sriracha sauce as needed

NUOC CHAM (Vietnamese dipping sauce or salad dressing)

I'm creating a vietnamese inspired cold rice vermicelli noodle salad tonight that needed some sort of dressing based on fish sauce and lime.  I put this together and it is delicious!

1 clover garlic minced
1/2 tsp thai chili paste
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice

Heat water in pot over medium-high heat and add sugar.  When the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.  Let cool and pour over salad, or use as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.

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