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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

Scallop and Snow Pea Risotto Recipe

There are two main ways of making risotto. They are amusingly referred to as "married" or "just dating." Just dating means that when you add the stock, you can step away for a second to do some other task in the kitchen, and as such it is more commonly seen in restaurants. The married method means you are basically constantly there with the risotto, stirring it constantly to ensure that it's not getting crispy and dried out on the bottom. It is also said that the constant stirring helps the starches in the rice break down a little and add to the creamy texture of the dish. You want to use a stainless steel pan for this, and ideally a wooden or bamboo stirrer.

Risotto can be flavoured in so many ways. We had some gorgeous bay scallops from our local seafood supplier, so we decided to make a scallop and snow pea risotto. We also got our hands on some stunning foraged chanterelle mushrooms, which we added in. You can cook the scallops and snow peas in the risotto, but it can be tricky to get the timing right and know when to add each individual part so that they're all cooked and not overdone at the end of it all. For this reason, we recommend getting those scallops mostly cooked prior to adding them to your risotto. And of course, you want a little bit of colour on the mushrooms, so fry them in butter before you add them to the dish.

Totally Non-Traditional Cuban Sandwich Recipe

This week we made something pretty simple! This is a sort of simplified Cuban sandwich we made using some excellent deli ham and an amazing Lachsschinken cured pork that we got from a local producer. Usually the ham would be replaced with something like a roast pork, porchetta, or carnitas sort of situation, and the cured pork would typically be something like a ham, but you could replace it with something like prosciutto, speck, or lachsschinken. The cheese is also pretty non-traditional, as it would normally be something like a gouda or Swiss, and we replaced it with a smoked aged cheddar.

Honestly, go wild with this recipe. There's a sort of magic between the cheese and the pickles, and the nice buttery toasted bun brings it all together. Super delicious, simple, and you don't even need one of those gimmicky sandwich presses, you can just stack pans on top of the sandwich!

Leftover Blondies Bread Pudding Recipe

So a few weeks ago, we made some really delicious chocolate chip blondies. The problem is, we made WAY too many. We also sort of misjudged the size of the making sheet, so they ended up just slightly overbaked, so they were a tiny bit dry. They got drier as they sat, so we popped a bunch of them into the freezer and made the rest into bread pudding! Because we're using something already sweet to start, we changed the traditional bread pudding formula a little bit. We used milk instead of cream, and cut the sugar by a lot. Because the blondies were already sweet, it worked out extremely well.

Of course you're free to use whatever you like in your bread pudding. We tossed in some lovely dark chocolate pastilles, and some nicely toasted pecan halves. You could also use milk chocolate, raisins, walnuts, whatever you like.

Homemade Fettuccine Vongole - Pasta with White Wine Clam Sauce Recipe

Once again we got some lovely seafood from a local distributor. This time it was some beautiful clams, and we decided to make some pasta! Well, more like I begged hubby if we could have linguine vongole, because it's one of my all-time favourites. We didn't have linguine on hand, so we ended up using fettuccine, which is just fine!

This dish has a lot of similarities to steamed mussels, except you want to reduce the sauce a little more, and thicken it with butter. Plus of course you throw in a bunch of pasta. Remember to leave your pasta at just al dente or even a little before al dente, because it's going to cook a little bit more when you toss it in the sauce at the end. I also recommend drinking the same wine as you cook with, because it's more delicious that way!

Homemade Lobster Rolls Recipe

We got our hands on some really nice lobster tails, so we decided we were going to try some lobster rolls! These are sort of a hybrid between different styles of lobster roll, but they came out super delicious. We didn't have the traditional sort of hoagie or hotdog bun-style roll for the bread, but we used these excellent little fluffy brioche rolls that came out amazing well. You could almost more call these lobster salad sliders, I suppose!

You can switch up the flavour profile with the herbs and such. Parsley would work well in the dressing as well. This is also a recipe that would be nice to use your own homemade mayo for, really go all out.

Spanish-inspired Smoked Trout Salpicon Recipe

Salpicón is a Spanish dish usually including chopped veggies, potato, and some kind of shredded or chopped meat held together with an oil and vinegar-based dressing. The word itself means "hodgepodge" or "medley." For our recipe, we used a beautiful hot-smoked trout that we were able to source locally, but you can use any kind of smoked fish, or even some other kind of canned seafood chopped nice and fine. shredded or pulled meat would also work fine in this recipe.

There are a few alterations you can make to adjust the flavour profile. You can switch up the veggies you use, and add or remove herbs or spices to your tastes. Really nice party food that went over very well at the birthday party we brought it to. A perfect summer dish, refreshing and light.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Blondies Recipe

Little late today! Our building was without power from 8am to 8pm (and our videos go live at 9:30am).

Anyway, this week we made blondies. This was for a friend's birthday party, and they really basically taste like a giant chocolate chip cookie, except a bit fluffier. We also added in some toffee chips (we got the really excellent Skor toffee chips), and they add a really lovely buttery flavour to it.

You definitely want to err on the side of underbaking these, because overbaked they get very dry very quickly. You can also add in things like chopped nuts if you like. Pretty simple and delicious dessert! Perfect for a party!

Beet Moutabel - Vegan Beet Hummus Recipe

This is adapted from something we had at a local Middle Eastern eatery recently. It's a very similar sort of recipe to hummus, but it replaces the chickpea with braised beets. This is a great dip to put out for parties, and even people who aren't big beet fans may love this. The colour is just stunning. The beets combined with the light tahini make for this unbelievable magenta colour. You can garnish this with parsley or chives, and it's best served with either warm pita, pita chips, or tortilla chips.

You can change the flavour profile a little by switching up what you braise the beets with. Replace the garlic with shallots, add some cinnamon or clove, lots of fine little alterations you can make. You can also roast the garlic you add to the recipe to reduce its sharpness, but we don't recommend using the garlic that you braised the beets with, because it was pretty flavourless after all that cooking in water.

White Wine Oyster Stew Recipe

My husband is a huge fan of Dune, and this is a recipe that was referenced by Odrade in Chapterhouse: Dune. This is an adaptation of the "oyster stew" from that book. Now, it's really more of a soup because nothing is stewed in the dish, but it is a delicious and refreshing soup. We use mitsuba for this dish, which is very similar to flat-leaf or Italian parsley, but has a bit more complex of a flavour. If you are unable to get mitsuba, then the flat-leaf parsley will do just fine.

We used a really gorgeous local dry Riesling for the wine component, but any dry white wine will work fine. We enjoy the complexities of a Riesling for something like this instead of the refreshing simplicity of a pinot grigio, for instance, but a pinot grigio would do extremely well in this dish.

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.

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