Spot Prawn Risotto : Happy Mother’s Day!

11 May

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A very simple recipe, probably the only tricky bit is finding these amazing prawns. In Vancouver you buy them live just like lobsters. And they do taste similar to lobster and with a similar texture as well, really sweet and tender. They’re incredible. Of course, using any other shrimp would do, but I wanted to feature spot prawns from British Columbia in this post as well as some asian ingredients to mix things up a bit. Hope you enjoy it. Continue reading

Cinnamon Rolls

1 May

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I don’t eat a lot of baked stuff but I love baking stuff. And if I had to choose what my favorite baked thing is, cinnamon rolls would go at the top of my list, well above croissants or … don’t hate me.. donuts… Palmiers are my all time favorite along with french bread, but cinnamon rolls are a close and firm second place, or is it third? whatever.

So, I gathered my notes and took some pics and wrote this post on how to make cinnamon rolls. They’re extremely easy to make, you can make them in a couple of hours from start to end and you will be met by excited coworkers and a victorious entrance ceremony when you arrive at the office carrying a tray full of these. You might not get a raise but what’s more important than the smiles of well fed colleagues during morning hours? exactly, nothing. Continue reading

Pork Miso Ramen Noodle Soup : Pork Belly

1 May

 

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Making ramen stock from scratch is a labor intensive process. A traditional pork stock for ramen can take up to 12 hours. I don’t have 12 hours during the day to watch after a stock pot (I have a day job), but nobody said I needed 12 continuous hours. In the course of 2 evenings and the help of my pressure cooker , I was able to render my first batch of homemade pork stock for ramen.  I also dreamed of making the noodles at home but without a pasta machine I anticipated disaster so I decided to stop that madness right there. The following recipe was inspired by Kenji Lopez’s: The Food Lab Redux: How to Make the Perfect Bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen.  He has an in-depth post with links to more in-depth posts on ramen. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves all things ramen and wants to learn more about it. This is my take. Wish me luck!

oh, one more thing. I’m back on INSTAGRAM! The link on my sidebar has been down for a while, but that’s no longer the case. I will be publishing all the blog photography there from now on (And will also try to get previous photography in there as well). So if you want to get updates, follow me on instagram! And…. back to cooking!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies : Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

20 Apr

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It’s finally happened. I caved and made cookies. First time, so I figured I’d document the whole thing with some pics and some notes. It’s been so long since I baked anything and the summer heat is approaching fast, so might as well get some baking done before the sun takes care of baking the northern hemisphere for the next few months.

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One of the reasons I decided to make cookies is because chefsteps.com posted a cookie recipe and that got me excited (more like curious, I’m not crazy about cookies, I find them a bit boring to be honest) Anyways,  if you don’t know who these chefsteps guys are, and you love technical cooking, beautiful plating and geeking out about food science and food photography, chefsteps is definitely the place. Let’s make some cookies now. Warning: the chronological order of the photos makes no sense.  Continue reading

Lobster Bolognese : Capellini : Porcini Froth : Black Truffles

2 Mar

 

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Lobsters found in Vancouver fly first class all the way from the east coast to the lobster man‘s water tanks and other seafood market places around. Today’s dish was inspired by a recipe from the book In Pursuit of Excellence by Josiah Citrin, Chef and co-owner of the famous 2 Michelin star restaurant Melisse, located in Santa Monica, CA. where my girlfriend Julia and I  had dinner at about  2 months ago.

 

The best meal we’ve ever had for sure. A few weeks later, the night before I was flying back to Vancouver, Julia, disappeared for about 15 mins. She reappeared with a signed copy of the restaurant’s book for me. The Chef himself happened to be at the reception when she showed up at the restaurant and he offered to sign it when she bought it = Best christmas present EVER!

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The book is amazing, the photos and the description of elaborate preparations in detail. This lobster recipe caught my attention and we decided to make it for our cooking club friends on Julia’s last visit a few weeks ago. Can’t go wrong with lobster. I added fennel to this recipe. I don’t even like raw fennel that much but I love what happens when it’s cooked and combined with seafood. It’s simply an amazing pairing.

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Continue reading

Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Chicken : Home Ketchup : Home Fries

31 Jan

 

 

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I roast a chicken every other week on average. I’ve tried  many different techniques and many different combinations and it’s hard for me to choose one method over another. Sous vide equipment aside (which yields the juiciest of chickens, sous vide cooking is almost cheating, seriously), the oven can do a pretty good job as well and it’s simply convenient. Chicken goes in, and about an hour later, chicken is ready. I love chicken and there are so many classic cooking skills involved in roasting one that it’s a great way to fine tune cooking intuition and technique.

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For this recipe I opted for the cold oven approach which is nothing more than simply throwing the chicken in the oven right before starting it. I really like it, maybe it’s all in my head, but the chicken seems to be extra juicy and the skin extra crispy. I’ve also cured the chicken overnight with salt, garlic and rosemary (I’m addicted to this combo of flavors if you haven’t noticed). Curing the chicken overnight imparts flavor into the meat not just on the surface. It also dries out the skin which helps tremendously in getting that awesome golden brown crispy finish. The other thing that I’ve tried here is placing the chicken in my cast iron skillet and adding some vegetable oil. This ensures that the chicken side in contact with the skillet cooks well (fries basically). Otherwise it seems to simply stew away and never develop the proper color. We’ll use this skillet, chicken drippings and brown butter to cook the crispy home fries. Read on!  Continue reading

Boneless Leg of Lamb 8h 130F Sous Vide : Pistachio Puree : Slow Roasted Onions and Shallots

30 Jan

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First post of 2015!  I figured I’d start this year with a lamb recipe. Lamb season is not nearly there yet but I couldn’t wait,  exciting times ahead! Anyways, I also wanted to make a dish that featured sous vide cooking for my friends at our dinner party 2 weeks ago. This recipe is inspired by the modernist cuisine folks. Its preparation takes about 24 hours including prep and curing time but with some organization and planning it’s actually quite simple and totally worth it!

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A roasted leg of lamb is in my opinion, the most delicious lamb cut. The meat is extremely tender, juicy with a delicate flavor that can be highlighted with herbs and garlic. A leg of lamb, bone in, might need 3-4 hours to roast until the core reaches 130F (in a conventional oven), for those of you who like rare lamb (like me!). What happens with oven roasting is that usually, the core will be rare, but the surface will be cooked to medium. Not the end of the world of course and extremely delicious regardless, but if looking for a perfect rare finish across the whole cut, sous vide is the way to go. Sous vide cooking times for this cut were all over the place when I searched online. I went with a short cooking time of 8 hours, that’s short for those familiar with sous vide cooking (I’ve experimented with longer cooking times and the meat tend to dry out), a leg of lamb should be treated like chicken breast, cooked long enough to get the core temperature where you want it, and a bit longer to pasteurize but then stop, otherwise, the meat will dry out. Ok, enough of this sous vide cooking stuff,  let’s get into it while I still have energy to type!  Continue reading

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