Saturday, September 29, 2012

Guacamole y Tequila [2012]

Very good authentic Mexican food for the masses... Sometimes the most unlikely places have the most wonderful surprises. Everything is hand made, with just the right amount of spice; check it out!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Glory of Southern Cooking [2012]

The Glory of Southern Cooking

BuY / ReAd

From James Villas comes this definitive Southern cookbook, featuring fascinating Southern lore, cooking tips, and 388 glorious recipes for any occasion. It includes traditional favorites, delicious regional specialties, and new recipes from some of the South's most famous and innovative chefs, like Louis Osteen and Paul Prudhomme. Comprehensive and authoritative, the book features favorites like buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, grits, cornbread, and pecan pie. Plus, Villas includes colorful stories, anecdotes, and Southern lore throughout the book, adding the kind of local color and charm you'd only get in the South and only from a writer like Villas.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Euro Deli du Village [2012]

The top smoke meats shop got noting on this tiny euro deli in Mansonville, Quebec. I treated myself and colleague to a smoke meat and was not disappointed. One of the really cool things is they put the dill right in with the sandwich, most delicious...

The best Eastern European food store east of Ontario isn't found in Montreal or Halifax, but in out-of-the way little Mansonville, the former haunt of Mordecai Richler and home to the Owl's Head ski hill. Owners John and Gala are sweethearts, and they offer their own delicious home-made kobassas, bacon, holubtsi and half a dozen varieties of varenyky (perogies). In summer, they also stock various great Eastern European beers. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Perfect Poutine - Part III [2012]

The Ingredients:

The Potato:
The first choice is the "frozen" western grown or Cavendish crinkle or 3/8 straight cut. The western cut contains less water and is meatier. The pre-cut frozen is the industry standard and assures better quality and consistancy. A single portion for a Perfect Poutine should not be more than 4oz.

The Cheese:
Any brand of curd cheese will do. But size of curnell is important. Not so large pieces that it will clump but small enough to sprinkle. Cheese should be at room temp.

The Sauce:
Your choice but check the ingredients for calories and other nasties. Don't drown the fries and cheese but enough to give the mixture a taste to die for. sauce should be poured at about 140F.

The Grande Final!
Now for mixing the perfect combination or your fired!

A) Load 4oz portion of frozen fries in a 365F fryer. Remove when crispy and golden. Allow  to drain, sprinkling of salt for flavour. Time:about 2:30 min.

B) Load 2oz of fries in a container. Add a sprinkling of cheese. Add hot sauce but not too much. Time: about 1 min.

C) Repeat B for second layer over the first. Time: about 1 min.

Practice makes perfect. If you follow this formula you cannot fail! But the trick is to serve customer within 5 minutes of ordering. (The downside is if the customer needs a fork and knife, you screwed up big time!) As a bonus, a 4oz. serving will contain about 500 calories of healthy combination of fries, cheese and sauce.

Let us know how you make out. You are now have gone from a dumb short order cook to a master Perfect Poutine Chef!

The Master

Monday, September 24, 2012

Simple Tomato Sauce - Part Two [2012]

The Outdoor markets are just teeming with fresh produce, especially tomatoes for dirty cheap. Get as many as you can!

Wash and dice... Some might want to remove skins; I leave the skins.

Beautiful pot with hot EVO. Cook off the garlic till the aroma is everywhere.

Glass of red helps the process.

Cool slowly... for many hours...

I took a few ladles for a pizza sauce. Added a bit of sugar, S&P, vinegar, fresh oregano and basil and blended the hell out of it, until smooth and wonderful.

Got a fresh ball a dough at the local pizzeria for a few bucks; added cheese, sauce, fresh cut tomatoes and voila - into a hot oven at 450.

Kids love to help with pies...

A simple sauce can be transformed into hundreds of dishes, once you have a good base everything tastes like magic.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Simple Tomato Sauce [2012]

Great recipe from Jamie Oliver on a simple sauce - Just bought 20 Pounds of fresh tomatoes... Time to start the gathering for the cold winter months that lie ahead.


• olive oil
• 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
• 3 x 400g tins of good-quality, whole plum tomatoes OR FRESH ONES
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tacos - Authentic, Festive & Flavourful [2012]

One of my kids' favourites... Get a bunch of bowls fill with lettuce, salsa, cheese, veggies, meats, sour cream, taco shells and on and on... Creativity with food is always a good bet.

From old standby dishes to taco truck favorites to more ambitious varieties like the Hot Fudge Taco, this book contains something for every fan of a dish that's both simple and soul-satisfying. Taco obsessive Scott Wilson includes such delights as Tacos de Cazuela (slow-cooked tacos served from the pot) and Sauteed and Fried Tacos. He explains the varieties of tortillas (and how to make them from scratch), along with meat and vegetarian options, appropriate salads, sides, salsas, and drinks and desserts. Includes 50 recipes and 25 color photographs.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Braised Beef w/Frites [2012]

T-Bone Steak which I braised for a few hours at 225 degrees with a wonderful marinade of hot mustard, paprika paste, EVO, white vinegar, S/P

What's a steak without frites from a cast iron pan??? 
Optimum heat 350, for soft insides, crispy outside...

Off The Menu [2011]

Have you ever heard of the staff meal, the ritual in which a restaurant's staff will sit down together for a meal before they open for service? If you're like me, you might find yourself a little envious of that meal and curious, too, about what they eat. Marissa Guggiana must have been interested as well, because she sought out restaurants that took their staff meals seriously and paid them a visit, leaving with a handful of recipes and photos to share with us in her new book Off the Menu: Staff Meals from America's Top Restaurants.

Here you will find Pork Chilaquiles from Franny's in Brooklyn, Yakamein Soup (aka Old Sober) from Galatoire's in New Orleans, Meme's Meatloaf and Creamy Macaroni from Meme in Philadelphia. There's an Apple Crisp from Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, Cabbage Salad from AOC in Los Angeles, Chicken and Biscuits Casserole from Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor. Tabard Inn in Washington DC offers Wild Boar Ragu, and from Frances in San Francisco there's Michaela's Empanadas.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Memphe La Micro: Poutine Trials [2012]

I had lunch at a brew pub in Magog, Quebec the other day. It was a beautiful day, so I sat out on their terrace and had a wonderful blonde ale, they call le blond sur la lac and I sampled their poutine. It was quite good; crispy fries, some curd (not enough for me personally) and their sauce seemed generic. But not bad! Check it, Memphe La Micro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The French Chef

The Perfect Poutine - Part II: The Equipment [2012]

The Equipment:

A vital part of making a Perfect Poutine. A commercial gas or electric fryer should  have sufficient recovery capacity to maintain optimum oil temperature of 360F to 365F during frying cycle. Only vegetable shortening is recommended. This ideal frying temp. minimises oil absorption in the potato to <10% and internal temp. of >200F. A Hot Potato! Crispy outside, retains temp. to melt the cheese and minimises absorption of sauce. A fryer is only as good as the load it carries. At most, a half basket at a time. What's the rush? The holding time of a fried potato should not be more than 3 min. Better still - the potion should be mixed in with cheese and sauce without delay!
PS: Not recommended for home production but doable without burning house down!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Great Britsh Pub Food [2009]

‘Keep it simple and make it tasty’, that’s the mantra behind Gordon Ramsay’s pubs designed to give the public great tasting British food, served alongside a good pint, that won’t break the bank. In his new cookbook, GORDON RAMSAY’S GREAT BRITISH PUB FOOD, Ramsay teams up with fellow chef Mark Sargeant to help you recreate some of the classic pub dishes at home.

GORDON RAMSAY’S GREAT BRITISH PUB FOOD features over 120 recipes based on the dishes served at Gordon Ramsay’s own critically acclaimed pubs – classic British dishes that have stood the test of time. All the recipes are simple but delicious and range from the traditional such as Crab Cakes, Venison Stew and Treacle Tart to more unusual dishes such as Potato, Bacon and Oyster Soup, Citrus Spatchcocked Quail with Sautéed Potatoes and Pimms Jellies.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Perfect Poutine - Part 1: The Origins [2012]

The Origins:

The origin of the Poutine dates back to the 1950s in Victoriaville, Que. The basic ingredients have not changed. Fries, curd cheese and gravy. Fast forward to the 90's and even MacDonalds gets on the bandwagon. There must something to this strange combination of basically unhealthy, artery clogging food that keeps growing beyond the Quebec border. Until now there were no scientific or technical papers available to identify the merits or calorific values of this junk food. Unfortunately, we all have a hidden desire to devour one with at least 1,000 calories that comes with it. 

The following recipe for serving a Perfect Poutine has been scientifically tested and proven. The ingredients are readily available, frying equipment is standard and any dumb short order cook can put it together. The real Secret is in Time & Temperature!

Read On!

Thai Street Food [2010]

Thai Street Food transports readers straight into the bustling heart of Thailand’s colorful street stalls and markets--from the predawn rounds of monks fanning out along the aisles to the made-to-order stalls ablaze in neon and jammed with hungry locals after dark. Featuring nearly 100 authentic dishes plus lavish photography accompanying every recipe, this stunning cookbook is the definitive guide to Thailand’s culinary street culture. The recipes, such as Steamed Fish with Chilli and Lime Sauce, Pork Satay, Roast Duck and Egg Noodle Soup, and Sweet Banana Roti illuminate the beguiling world of food so integral to the Thais. AMZ

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Terrasse St-Ambroise [2012]

We went walking on the Lachine Canal on a brisk Fall day, and along our journey came across the Terrasse St-Ambroise. Of course we stopped, our energy was very low! We sampled a great pumpkin beer and an Indian Pale Ale, along with an italian sausage and some nachos. The sausage was covered in a wonderful eggplant relish, and the beer was delicious.