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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

Poblano Quinoa Side Dish Recipe

Tired of rice or potatoes as your side dish? Looking for something less carby and more proteiny? This quinoa dish is really excellent on all of those fronts. It is also delicious! The trick with quinoa is you must remember to wash it before you cook it. Quinoa naturally has a chemical coating on the outside called saponin to discourage grazers, and most quinoa that you can buy from the store has not been washed enough. The way you can tell you've rinsed all of the saponin off is that the water will stop sudsing up when you rinse it. Ours took four times before the water stopped foaming up.

This is a very basic flavour profile, and you can adjust this based on what you add. You could pop a bay leaf in while it's boiling, or even some cardamom pods to adjust the flavour and aroma profile. We added the peppers after we turned off the heat, and let it sort of steam in with the hot quinoa, and it was just nicely cooked by the time we went to eat it.

Pumpkin Pie Souffle Recipe

A while back we made pumpkin pies. Unfortunately we did some measurement wrong and ended up with more filling than we had pie shells! Thankfully, pumpkin pie filling freezes just fine, so we popped it into the deep freeze until this year. Instead of making pies with the remainder of it, we made these rich and fluffy pumpkin pie soufflés!

Pumpkin pie filling is already basically a custard, we just enriched it with the egg yolks to make it a little softer, and then added the beurre manié for a little structure so that it would hold its loft after it was baked. Ours could have maybe gone for another couple of minutes for a bit more colour on top, but they were delicious as they were. Cooked all the way through and nice and fluffy.

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!

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