Stock, generic recipe (with sous vide pictures)

stock sous vide (1 of 1)-2

Warm your home during the cooler days, or fill a pot with the bight, crisp flavors of summer by making homemade stocks. Anything you make from it will be enhanced.  Myself, I enjoy the day long process of tending a near boiling pot, of skimming, of straining and adding then straining again; but the Modernists have popularized two other methods for producing stock faster with less effort: Those made with a pressure cooker and Those made sealed in a plastic bag then cooked in a hot water bath (sous vide). Whatever the… Read More

Play with your food! Savory Cauliflower Bites

savory cauliflower truffles

(recipe follows) I was going to call them truffles. It just sounds better, doesn’t it? When someone asks what you had for lunch Cauliflower Balls doesn’t have the same panache. Looking for middle ground, I decided Cauliflower Bites captures what these are nicely. I got the idea from here from Molecular Recipes. Chef Digilio’s idea involves making a truffle from cream and garlic and coating them in bread crumbs. I tried it and the texture was wonderful — they melt in your mouth, unexpected for something savory. I rolled half of hs garlic… Read More

Play with your food! Stuffed chicken.

(technique) The food industry puts too many chemicals in our food, it’s an idea I wholly concur with, which is part of the reason I do almost everything from scratch. There are enzymes and amino acids which have been lumped into  that idea of chemical which Molecular Gastronomists have embraced and which I use regularly in my kitchen. One of my favorite kitchen toys is Activa, aka transglutaminase. Restaurants and supermarket butchers use it to make uniform cuts of meat. Simply take two small pieces, sprinkle the amino acids, and put them… Read More

Play with your food! Cauliflower Tart

(recipe follows) I have a friend, Paul, who was always after me to take photos of what I cook. I really disliked doing it. Stop. Snap. Restart. Then hope it looked like what you made. I started this blog using my iPhone — which was okay, but I’m competitive. I unpacked my point and shoot — Nikon Coolpix S9300. I was learning, so it was okay — then the auto mode broke. What to do? Well, I bought a new camera, a Nikon D7100. I’m still looking for the lens, though I’m… Read More

Whoopie Pies a Prologue: White Chocolate Milk

white chocolate milk from cacao nibs, whole milk, and whip cream dispenser.

I started blogging 23 days ago. In those first days I found a cooking challenge for Whoopie. Sorry, Whoopie Pies. I had started to work out a formula for a salmon roulade based biscuit with a creme fraiche herbed filling when someone mentioned on my blog that she’d love to eat a white chocolate Whoopie Pie. (Game on.) The initial flavour pairing was pecan, coconut, white chocolate, but coconut in the biscuit morphed it into a macaroon — there is no ‘Whoopie’ in macaroon. Coconut milk in the batter lacked “Whoo”. And… Read More

Play with your food! Carbonated grapes

Carbonated grapes with cognac.

I’ve been having all kinds of fun with my ISI whip cream dispenser. Infusing milk (and later rum) with cacao essence from chocolate nibs was definitely a highlight. Here I’ve charged grapes. I filled up the dispenser with grapes, added two jiggers of cognac, topped it off with water and charged it with two nitrous oxide cartridges. A couple of hours later I released the pressure. Inside each grape were bubbles of carbon dioxide. The bowl was fizzing — food with sound! Biting into one is akin to pop rocks, but less… Read More

stuffed turkey skin — think outside the box

This is a turkey SKIN stuffed with Spanish Rice, two types of stuffing, potatoes and other vegetables.%0A%0AThere was a lot of extra space. There should have been twice as much stuffing to make the bird skin presentable to a table.

There is a lot you can do with poultry skin. Here I’m going to talk about turkey skin, but it applies to chicken, duck, Guinea fowl and smaller birds as well. Using the skin to house your side dishes, especially vegetables and stuffings but also forcemeat. When you debone your bird do one of the following (listed in order of ease): 1) slice the skin down the back and remove with drumsticks and wing tips. 2) slice the skin down the back without drumsticks or wing tips. 3) use a sharp knife and… Read More

One turkey many ways, debone your turkey for steak and . . .

turkey - 1

Turkey is underrated because it’s overeaten in too short a time. The long roasting can dry the meat. And left over meat isn’t going to produce the best dishes. The solution for me has been to debone the turkey, create a layer of dark and white meat rolled into a log which I slice into steaks and freeze. The steaks cook in three to five minutes, or can be cut up and used in other recipes. In addition to the steaks, boning the bird gives us: fat for flavouring dishes two wing… Read More