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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,014

Journal Archives

Ramekin Baked Oysters Recipe

A little while ago, we made a mistake. My hubby had just had his second COVID shot, and was a little loopy from it while he was trying to order seafood from a place that delivers restaurant quality seafood to consumers in our neighbourhood. He meant to get 6 each of 6 different kinds of oysters, but accidentally got 36 of one of them. So we looked up to see if we could safely store them, and apparently you can shuck them into a container, then freeze them immediately, and they'll be good frozen for a month or so, so we popped them into the chest freezer. But now we've got all these shucked oysters to play with!

This is adapted from a recipe that we had a Japanese restaurant near us, with some inspiration from the classic Oysters Rockefeller. Once everything starts hitting the pan, it cooks really quickly, and it came out just amazingly tasty. You can switch up the herbs if you like to adjust the flavour profile. Just make sure you don't overcook the oysters.

Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Bit of a basic one this week, we're doing peanut butter cookies! It's a pretty simple recipe, and very tasty. We like to use real natural peanut butter because it's better for you (doesn't have hydrogenated oils) and tastes better. Also, we like to use crunchy peanut butter because we do like the texture with the chunks of peanut in the cookies.

Interestingly enough, the cookies do not spread at all while they're baking, which is why you want to do the traditional crossed-fork pattern on top. You want to spread it out with the forks so that they're cookie shaped when they're baked, otherwise they will stay mostly ball-shaped in the pan! Also, if you're going to freeze some for future baking, make sure you use the fork spreading before you freeze them.

Shrimp Chippewa - Creole Sauteed Shrimp and Compound Butter Recipe

This recipe originated at Commander's Palace in New Orleans and was developed by the legendary Paul Prudhomme. There are a few different variations of this recipe, and this one is primarily based on the version from Brennan's of Houston. Sauteed shrimp are no great secret or anything, but the real key to this recipe is the incredibly delicious compound butter that you finish sauteeing the shrimp in! We served this over rice, but it also makes a really delicious dish served over grits (and we have a great recipe for cheesy grits on our channel).

There are a couple of ways to change this recipe up, as well. Mushrooms are sometimes added to the compound butter (and if you use something like dried porcini, you can reconstitute them in the cognac with the sundried tomatoes). It's a Paul Prudhomme recipe, so of course it's swimming in butter and cognac. Also, feel free to mince the garlic and shallot if you don't want to grate them, but grating them will get more of the flavour throughout your compound butter.


Homemade Lemonade Concentrate Recipe

It's time for cool and refreshing summer drinks again! This year, we're making lemonade, but really we're making lemonade concentrate. You know those cans of concentrated lemonade you can buy at the grocery store and mix with water to make a big pitcher of boring, overly sweet lemonade? Well, this is way better than that! The real trick for this recipe is to steep your lemon zest in the simple syrup after it comes off the heat to let that lemon oil really infuse into the syrup.

We found that this concentrate mixed at a ratio of 2 parts concentrate to 4 parts whatever you're mixing it with. So, for the plain one, we did 2 parts concentrate to 4 parts sparkling water. For the cocktail, we did 2 parts concentrate, 1 part bourbon, 3 parts sparkling water. Your concentrate may have more or less intense flavour, so find whatever ratio works best for you! Also, if you're using a box grater for the lemon zest as we did here, make sure to avoid getting the pith as much as you can, as it will add a bitter flavour to your lemonade.

Zucchini Tomato Casserole Recipe

This is a recipe adapted from my family instead of something that hubby came up with. This casserole is really similar to a dish my mom made a lot while I was growing up. We used to grow zucchini and tomatoes in the yard, and this delicious casserole would happen when they were fresh and ripe. Nothing like eating your own produce from the garden!

You can make this vegan by replacing the butter with vegetable oil and omitting the cheese or using vegan cheese instead. Also, you can use more or less garlic or shallot, or if you really want some intense bulbiness, you can use the mandolin to get paper thin slices of onion to layer in there with the tomatoes and zucchini. Lots of ways to spice this up. You could add a bit of curry powder or five spice powder if you want to change the flavour profile completely, but we like to let the fresh flavours of these local veggies shine on their own in this dish.

Homemade Shrimp Po'Boy Recipe

Much like the coldcut po'boy recipe we did a couple of weeks ago, this is very similar to the type of po'boys that hubby used to be able to get when he lived in Houston. Usually some variety of cocktail sauce and some kind of tartar sauce were on toasted rolls, and then the sandwich was filled with either boiled shrimp or some kind of fried seafood (shrimp or oysters). We had these beautiful shrimp from a local distributor, so we just did the boiled version. You could also use the fried oyster recipe we made on the channel previously.

Cocktail sauce is super easy. Typically it's just ketchup and horseradish, but you could also use a thick marinara sauce with horseradish, too. There are also many variations of tartar sauce, and ours is a very simple little version of it using some nice tart pickles and chopped capers.

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Super simple and delicious dessert this week! Local strawberries and rhubarb are right in season right now, so this is the perfect time for this amazing dish. This one actually comes from my mom, and is a bit more of a Canadian dish. Hubby thought it was a bit like a Canadian version of cobbler, which makes sense, though it's not a dough better, it's more of a streusel.

This is my favourite version of this recipe, but it can be made with mixed berries, saskatoon berries, apples, or whatever kind of fruit. If the fruit you're using is really sweet, you can perk everything up with a little bit of lemon juice, because tartness is really great for this. Rhubarb is SO tart and astringent that no additional acid is required.

Homemade Cold-Cut Po'boy Recipe

Super simple recipe this week. This is a bit of nostalgia for my hubby (Chef Caleb) because he used to get these cold cut deli po'boy sandwiches at a place near where he grew up in Houston. The magic happens somewhere between the fluffy roll, and the interaction between the pimentos and the mayonnaise. Super delicious and super easy, this is a great sandwich to pack in a backpack for a hike or a picnic.

You can easily change up the sandwich filling. Traditionally it is some kind of ham, some kind of salami (or two kinds), and a mild cheese. We used one spicy and one mild salami, but you could replace the ham with prosciutto, or even deli-sliced roast beef, and the provolone with havarti or gouda. This comes closest to the sandwich that hubby remembered, but make it your own!

Simple Shrimp Fritters Recipe

This is an unbelievably simple recipe for fritters. It's a very quick batter and they cook quickly to a delicious crispy outside and a fluffy inside. The sparkling water really helps with that fluffiness. You want to make sure that whatever you're adding to the batter doesn't have too much moisture, so if you're using shrimp make sure you give them a firm squeeze to get any excess moisture out. Shrimp + cheese may seem like a counterintuitive mix, but if you use a nice mild cheese like havarti or gouda, it just adds a bit of richness and the parts of the cheeses that hit the hot oil get golden and crispy. It works extremely well, and the slightly sharp bulbiness from the green onions really compliment it.

You can put whatever you want inside the fritters. Corn works, so would something like sauteed mushrooms or even some nicely browned bacon lardons. It's a versatile batter and is so easy.

Simple Beer Battered Fish Recipe

We got some beautiful halibut from a local outfit that usually delivers to restaurants, but has begun to deliver direct to consumers because the restaurant biz is so depressed right now. We decided to make fish'n'chips! This is a really simple beer batter for fried fish, and if you don't want to use beer, you can also just use sparkling water. The carbonation helps for the batter to be light and fluffy on the inside while it's crispy and golden on the outside.

The real trick here is to make sure everything stays cold as long as possible. The beer, the fish, and the egg should be as cold as possible as long as possible, and hopefully the batter is still cold when it hits the hot oil. That really helps with keeping it fluffy. This came out absolutely perfectly, the fish was cooked all the way through and incredibly moist, and the batter was crispy outside and very fluffy inside, cooked all the way through. No doughiness or anything.

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