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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: 3,012

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.

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