Drake Hotel Watermelon Eating Contest

I totally forgot to post this little video I made from 86’d last Monday.  Check ‘er out!


Quiche Maraîchere w Pumpkin – Cooking with Pumpkin (Series)

This is part two of my series regarding pumpkins and how to cook an entire one without any waste.

Today I’ve made a vegetable quiche with a few modifications. Maraichere refers to market-fresh produce.  I snuck in pumpkin which doesn’t add a lot of flavour, but does add a lot of nutrition (if you’re into that sort of thing).  The substitution of yogurt instead of heavy cream gives this dish a nice tartness and smooth texture.

Printable Recipe

Pictured is a basic balsamic reduction. 1/2 cup balsamic vinager, 1/2 cup water, reduced to half.

Woodlot Restaurant, 293 Palmerston Ave, Toronto

Woodlot, Woodlot, Woodlot.  All the foodies are talking about Woodlot.

We went last night to this wonderful little restaurant/bakery with very great food and unfortunately dismal internet presence.  They have a vegetarian menu and a meatatarian menu, which I think is a fantastic idea.  My friend Adam is the barista during the day there, so go check out his handsome face while you buy a coffee and pastry.

The wine list is affordable.  They also offer two beers at the $5 price point.

What did I eat?  Some tasty, tasty plates.

Click ‘more’ for the food porn photos I quickly and embarrassingly took while hiding my camera under my coat:

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Behind the Scenes: Pork, Apple and Braised Red Cabbage Pies

Image from the Bourque Street Bakery book.

I’ve had a few requests for the “secret” to my prize winning pies I cooked for 86’d at The Drake .  There is no particular secret, but a practiced technique that work every time.  An experienced cook memorizes techniques and ratios rather than recipes.  Memorize the patterns in your favourite dishes and before long you’ll see what I mean.

The Bourque Street Bakery book is a fantastic companion.  It is gorgeous and I recommend getting yourself a copy.  Today, I’m writing about my modifications and tips.  Here is what most recipe books won’t tell you:

Making pie/tart shells is a lengthly and time sensitive project.  You have to chill your dough before rolling it and chill it after it is rolled and cut.  You have to work quickly to make sure the chilled dough doesn’t stretch from the heat of your hands (which will cause shrinking in the tart shell).  For this particular instance I used buttered and floured muffin tins instead of French rings, which worked very well.  I made sure to take the shells out of the tin as soon as I could handle them and put them on a cooling wrack. My “secret” in this case is using vinegar instead of water in the tart shell.  Vinegar or any briny substance will cause the shell to flake nicely.  Going half and half on lard and butter works nicely too.

The second issue was the braised meat.  A lot of people argue about searing a piece of shoulder or simply placing it into the pot.  I personally find that searing meat generates far more flavour.  This particular book instructs to put the meat on top of the gently cooked vegetables.  Instead I seared the meat, removed from the pot and cooked the vegetables on top of the meat and deglazed with liquid. I’ve literally written a one page recipe in that previous sentence.  Follow it and it will treat you well.

Thirdly, taste your food.  Taste your food in the beginning, in the middle and the end of the process.  Taste, taste, taste.  Taste your raw dough. Know what is happening in that pot!  Jesus murphy, just do it.

When I tasted the filling from the book it wasn’t right.  I know I’d done everything to the letter, but it wasn’t ground breaking.  There wasn’t enough tartness to the sweet, fatty meat.  What’s the perfect contrast to hot, sweet fat? What’s sour, crunchy and cold?  A pickle.  Et voila.  Added a pickle to the bottom of the tart.

Use your imagination when you cook.  Have fun!  There are no secrets.



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Food and Workers of Brickworks Slowfood Picnic 2010 – A Photo Essay (via Good Food Revolution)

Ivy Knight and I put together a photo essay for the Brickworks last weekend.

Food and Workers of Brickworks Slowfood Picnic 2010 - A Photo Essay Photos by Kristina Groeger, words by Ivy Knight Smoked trout from Milford Bay with fresh horseradish from Red’s Chef Mike Steh and Poissonier Matthew Simpson. This salad was responsible for making the sun come out. -Ivy Knight The queen of local sustainability and biodynamics Lauren Wilton, served a mean minestrone soup from Enoteca Sociale.  Unfortunately for you, her outfit was not see-through or animal print.  – Kristina Groeger Ivy poses with … Read More

via Good Food Revolution

California Caviar Company

The California Caviar Company, (purveyors of indulgence) have introduced infused sustainable roe. CCC has such flavours as Bourbon Trout Roe, Sake Trout Roe, Truffle Whitefish Roe, Saffron Whitefish Roe, Lemongrass Whitefish Roe and Bacon & Eggs.

The caviar is at a cost of $15 an ounce.

The Mast Brothers Chocolate – Brooklyn

Brothers, Michael and Rick Mast are making incredible chocolate in Brooklyn, New York.

Their chocolate is made meticulously by hand sorting every bean, using laser thermometers.  They only use two ingredients, cocoa bean and sugar to achieve a pure product.

Even their equipment is unique.   An aerospace engineer friend of the brothers helped make an original device to break up the beans.

Their craft style chocolate is brought in by boat via Brasil and Dominican Republic.  Now, that makes me hungry for chocolate!

via Coolhunting

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