Sunday, May 30, 2010

One pan: ingredients

OK, before you get upset at my lousy diet, I had a great big green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and asparagus, 'kay?

But tonight was meant for leftovers! Actually, I deliberately made leftover potatoes this morning: I peeled and cut up two potatoes and cooked them so I could use them for dinner. I only used one potato: the other one will be used later in the week.

Friday night I did a slooooooow braise of a Boston Butt pork roast. I put in a Dutch oven:
5lb pork roast salted and peppered, then browned on all sides
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, cut into 2" lengths
(those vegetable ingredients I sautéed in the pot after I removed the browned roast)
Then I added:
1 can of Guinness beer
2 peeled and chopped carrots
2 peeled and chopped parsnips
2 bay leaves
and about 750ml of water, until the roast was almost submerged.
Bring to a boil on the stove, transfer to slow oven for 5 hours.

So I fork-separated and had some pulled pork off the roast tonight together with the potatoes, and that yummy cheese.

First the potatoes in the cast-iron frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter. Eventually add the pork (it just needs to warm up). Shortly after, some cheese. Don't try to grate the cheese like I did: just crumble it in your fingers.

Yummy one-pan meal. Hash browns and pulled pork with apple-cinnamon cheese.

That's a cheese with potential. I can see doing a bunch of things with it. Like a grilled cheese sandwich!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chris' Cheesemongers bag

Here it is!

Silk screened on both sides with the shop's logo:

I like the orange reverse on the stitched handles. And the fact that the handles are long enough to sling it over my shoulder.

Lots of space in it for things. Two bottle-shaped pockets and a central divider. I shopped at the Market yesterday, and it held a basket of potatoes, one of carrots, one of parsnips, three bunches of asparagus, a bottle of olive oil, two of wine, 5 heads of garlic, 3 hunks of ginger, a pound of mushrooms from Phil's, and some more of that wonderful cheese that I bought last week.

The bags are only $5.00, and very roomy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tasty cheese

I'm a sucker for a good cheese!

I was looking for one last week, before having Oliver and Melissa over for dinner. I went to Chris' Cheesemongers: actually, it was funny how I ended up there. I was next door, at the organic Golden Orchard, buying some zucchini and cucumbers, and told the cashier how much I love using my LCBO partitioned bag for shopping. One of the cheesemongers was right behind me, and promptly told me that if I liked that bag, I'd like the ones they sell at Chris' Cheesemongers even better: longer straps, better compartments, larger size!

Nothing would do but I had to have one of those bags, so I went next door with him, and told him that, in addition to the bag, I wanted a mild cheese to serve at the start of dinner. We started with a pretty uninspired camembert (I think that was my suggestion) and by the third cheese, he had talked me into this, which I had a runny taste of.

Let it come to room temperature, and enjoy the delicate flavour. I served it with some rosemary and sesame flatbreads and some almonds.

It's made of a combination of goat, sheep and cow milk. I'm eating the last of it as I write this. The taste of goat and sheep is there slightly, giving it more character than a straight cow's milk cheese frequently has.

It's imported from Tuscany, $19.95.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Salut! Wine and food festival

I won tickets to Monday night's chefs duel over crab.
Dang, I wish I was one of the judges, because those of us who were not judges ate tasty appetizers, but no crab!

Here are some pictures I took.

I apologize for the quality: I need to (a)check that my battery is charged before leaving home and (b)check the settings on the point and shoot camera before pointing and shooting! Don't bother enlarging. The pictures look best small :-D

This one is a look down the bar at all the trays of food that had been set out, cleaned, ready to use, depending on what the chef wanted for the competition.

Radicchio, peppers, basil, thyme, green onions, and a lovely hunk of ginger.

Fingerling potatoes! Red baby potatoes! Yukon Golds! Are you hungry yet?

Several types of tomatoes, some dill, apples, cucumbers, and peppers. Oh yeah, some pears, too!

Aromatics: leeks, yellow and red onions, and a whole whack of a tubfull of peeled garlic cloves.

Here we have some plantain, yellow squash, zucchini, red bell peppers, and some mammoth carrots. These aincho baby carrots.

Screams guacamole, doesn't it? A couple of avocados, some limes, lemons, and oranges.

Fresh greenery.

Slab of awesome bacon, the package not yet opened, and some chorizo sausage.

Dairy products! Dang, I missed a shot of the $450 hunk of Parmesan. Just relax and imagine the richness these ingredients brought to the dishes.

Not the secret ingredient! But Ingredients I would have gladly munched, raw, because they looked so fresh.

Aw shucks.
(You didn't think I was going to pass on that, did you?)
Some nice freshly shucked Malpeques.

Cheeeeze, pleeeeeze.
Some boccancino on a skewer with a basil leaf and teeny tomato, plus some maple cheddar from Black River Dairy in Prince Edward county, and some heart-stoppingly wonderful marbelized carmelized onion cheddar, and I don't know the name of the dairy: send it to me and I'll fix this.

Awesome steaks.
Some were used to create a Steak Diane using some mashed potatoes, grated Parmesan cheese and (yum yum) secret ingredient, crab, all mixed together, placed on top of the steak. Me wants. Damn, me not judge, so me didn't get.

Obligatory crowd scene. Actually, it was more crowded looking the other direction.

Master of ceremonies, Dick Snyder, announcing the winner! Chef Gordon Mackie of Far Niente. Chef Bruce Woods of Brassaii put up an admirable fight.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why I have problems buying processed food when I'm not looking the processor in the eye

Yet another food recall is happening, this time around some Italian-style processed meats and cheese.

The larger the plant, the greater the chance that one machine's lack of cleanliness is going to impact a whole bunch of food, because everything from that line (or perhaps the plant) gets recalled.

It just freaks me out how much food is being recalled these days: worse in the USA, where food poisoning can result in millions of pounds of meat being recalled and destroyed.