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Saviolo

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,021

Journal Archives

Banana Bread Recipe

Just about everyone has some overripe bananas that they've shoved into their freezer because it would be a waste to throw them away, and "Hey, I could always make banana bread." Well, today is the day to make banana bread! This is a wonderful recipe, and makes a moist but still light banana bread that is full of flavour. We like to do some stir-ins, because the buttery toffee adds richness and the dark chocolate chips add a nice contrast to the overall sweetness of the dish.

You definitely don't want this batter to sit around before baking, or you won't get the loft. Just make sure it's barely combined, and that your oven is already preheated, and your baking trays are already buttered and floured and ready to go so you can get it from the mixer into the oven right away.

Vietnamese Restaurant Style Lemongrass Porkchop Recipe

So, we didn't do a holiday recipe just before Christmas, but we did do this amazing (and pretty easy) pork chop recipe that you can get at just about any Vietnamese place around our area. The usual restaurant presentation of this dish is with rice and a bit of a salad or slaw, topped with a sunny-side-up egg with a crispy edge. The flavour profile is primarily the lemongrass and the garlic, and because it's a pounded cutlet, it cooks super fast. You want to use a good high heat in your cast iron for a short time so that it gets a good sear, and it will cook through really quickly.

We like to use the flat bottom of a good heavy skillet to pound out the cutlets, because it gives you more surface area to work with when you're pounding, and you won't have to worry about spreading your mallet around. It makes things super nice and quick when you're doing the pounding.

Creamy Succotash Recipe

Here's a nice idea for a delicious and colourful holiday side dish if you're tired of the usual! Succotash is primarily a sweet corn dish that includes either lima beans or other shell beans or green beans. We also add tomato and okra to ours, which is not super traditional but is common. The bright colours and flavours of the dish really perk up any dinner plate, especially if you have a lot of beige food going on, like turkey and mashed potatoes!

This recipe can be made vegetarian by omitting the bacon, or vegan by omitting both the bacon and the cream. Lard, butter, or bacon grease are most commonly used for this dish, but you could get away with a nice olive oil if you wanted to make this vegan.

TexMex Style Tamale Recipe

So, my hubby (the chef!) comes from Texas, and this is the sort of restaurant-style tamales that he would get growing up in the Houston area. There are a lot of Latin American and Caribbean cultures that do a version of tamales, but these are going to be very similar to the type that were widely available around the holidays in Texas. It can be a bit of a cottage industry, where you can buy a bunch of tamales for the holidays from your co-worker, made by their family.

The filling we use for this is our chili, which uses big chunks of beef chuck. Because the chili cooks for so long, the beef is extremely tender and shreds easily to use as the filling. Tamales can also be stuffed with chilis, cheese, or vegetables, whatever you'd like. For the masa, we used bacon grease (because we had some on hand and it adds that nice bacony flavour), but you can also use lard or shortening to make the masa dough to wrap the filling in.

Easy Mixed Vegetable Tempura Recipe

We recently got out hands on some really lovely fresh Japanese ingredients from a Japanese shop local to us. Our recent tune tartare video was made from the sushi-grade tuna we got there, and this week, we're including these amazing fresh shiso leaves in our mixed tempura. This is a really simple recipe, but is a little technical. You really do need to keep the temperature of the batter down as cold as you can, so keep your bowl in an ice bath, and use ice water when you're mixing it.

This is not a fried food like most North American fried foods. You're not looking for a dark golden brown outside, you're really just trying to get the veggies cooked well enough to eat and until the batter is nice and crispy and light. Different items will take different amounts of time, depending on how big they are, and their moisture content. The shiso leaves took just about 15 seconds in the oil before they were done (and they were delicious). The kabocha squash took a little longer, because it's denser, and has a lower moisture content. Of course you can add your favourite veggies to this recipe, and some other favourites are broccoli, yam, zucchini, eggplant, or carrot.

Old Fashioned Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

More holiday baking! This recipe is based on the old Toll House recipe that used to be on the back of the package of chips. The recipe changed years ago to be easier to measure and scale, but the cookies weren't as nice! This one is adapted from the earlier recipe, and we've just added some toffee chips. If you can find the Skor branded toffee chips, I definitely recommend them, 'cause they're amazing buttery toffee. If you can't, you can just break up any kind of nice hard toffee.


Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

The time for holiday baking is coming, and we realized we hadn't done many cookie videos. We don't eat a lot of sweets or anything, because neither of us have much of a sweet tooth, but we do still like the occasional treat like homemade cookies. Snickerdoodles are sort of an old school recipe, but they are really delicious. They've got a slight sour tang to them from the use of tartaric acid (or cream of tartar) as part of the leavening. You can usually find this ingredient at any grocery store either in the herbs/spices rack or in the "baking needs" aisle.

A couple of important notes: Don't overmix the dough, as this will leave your cookies kind of tough. Don't let it sit too long once it has been mixed. You'll want to get it wrapped up and into the fridge pretty quickly because the baking powder will interact with the cream of tartar and reduce the amount of rise you get. Don't handle the dough too much when it's warm. You'll want to get it nice and chilled in the fridge before you start rolling it into balls and rolling them in the cinnamon sugar. Also, you can very easily add other spices into the sugar mixture, like clove/nutmeg/ginger, to make these into pumpkin spice Snickerdoodles.

Homemade Asian Inspired Tuna Tartare Recipe

We got our hands on some stunning sushi-quality medium fat tuna, so we decided to make a tuna tartare out of it. Tartare usually refers to something like beef, but tuna tartare is a staple at a lot of higher end restaurants as a delicious appetizer or amuse-bouche. Unlike other raw fish dishes like ceviche or poke, tartare does not cure or marinate the fish in an acidic liquid like lime juice. Please make sure that if you're making this dish that you are using sushi-grade fish, which has been flash frozen and specially handled to make it safer for raw consumption, and also please don't keep leftovers hanging around! It should be eaten within 24 hours of making it.

I know some people have a hard time with raw fish, but this dish is just so delicious. It is lightly seasoned but full of amazing accent flavours. One thing we used that you won't have on hand is the calamondin hot sauce that we're in the process of making. You can replace that with a little dollop of any kind of hot sauce that you'd like. A bit of Tabasco or a tiny amount of Frank's Red Hot would be a lovely spicy accent along with a little dash of lemon or lime juice for a citrus zing. And if you're not into making the chips (deep frying is a pain, I know!), then serve this with nice little crackers or even just potato chips. It would probably even go decently well with something like ketchup chips or maybe even salt and vinegar.

Quick and Easy Spicy Mixed Vegetable Pickles - Escabeche Recipe

It's getting to the end of fresh veggie season here in Toronto, so it's time to start preserving some of that freshness for the cold months! This is a Mexican style spicy mixed pickle, and something you'd sometimes see at a really nice Mexican restaurant. It's the sort of thing they'd bring to your table as a starter along with chips and salsa while you're deciding what to order. This is probably more common in the US, I've definitely had that sort of thing happen to us at places in Texas, but not here in Southern Ontario.

This is a pretty traditional mix of veggies for a pickle like this, but you can make some changes to the veggies as well. Some include onion (even red onion, but be prepared for everything to change colour), and there are a bunch of different things you could add for variety. If you want to control the spiciness, you can remove the seeds from the jalapenos. This is not a fermented pickle, it's more of a quick pickle or refrigerator pickle. The solution is both too acidic and too salty for there to be much in the way of fermentation, but that's just fine, the brine we use here is more like a marinade. Typically we would say this pickle is optimal for eating after a couple of weeks in the fridge. The veggies have absorbed a lot of the brine and may be a little floppy, but still crunchy. Some people prefer to eat this after just a couple of days, it's really whatever you prefer!

Simple Jalapeno Cream Sauce Recipe

Just a simple and delicious one this week. This is adapted from a restaurant that hubby ate at, and they had this really excellent simple creamy jalapeno dish (Nicaraguan pollo jalapeno). He made a couple of alterations and adapted it into this super easy recipe. You do have to keep an eye on it, you definitely don't want to scorch your cream, but so long as you keep stirring it regularly, it won't stick and burn. We added this sauce to our squash soup, as well as over some roasted chicken, and it worked very well. Would make a decent stand-in for chimichurri, as well.

Please note: adding things like cilantro and parsley to a dish like this does slightly lower their shelf life. Because these leafy greens have some chemical compounds like thymol, which will reduce the amount of flavour over time, you can only keep this in the fridge for about a week. It will still be safe to eat after that time, but you may notice that it loses much of its interesting flavour, and becomes "just hot."

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