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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: 2,296

Journal Archives

French Onion Soup Recipe!

This week we do a lovely from-scratch french onion soup! This is a super easy recipe, it just takes a great deal of time to very slowly cook down all of those onions. You can see how much those onions cook down from our initial over-stuffed pot to the final product. A little note here: during the cooking process, the onions go through a period where they take on an unpleasant metallic smell. Just keep cooking through that, it will go away, and you'll be left with that lovely rich onion smell once it's done. Hubby could explain the food chemistry better than I could.

Also, a pro-tip here: Serve this soup with a cheese toast, then have a second round of cheese toasts ready to go by the time your diners are halfway through and have run out of the first cheese toast!

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Chocolate Mousse Recipe

Back to dessert! After we did that fruit mousse a few weeks ago, we decided to also do a chocolate mousse! Quite different in their preparations, and also a very different final flavour profile. The passion fruit mousse was very delicate and light, whereas this chocolate mouse is extremely rich and intense in flavour. We use dark chocolate in this, but if you prefer milk chocolate you can use that.

Of course you can customize this as much as you'd like. A little bit of cinnamon, a dash of cayenne pepper, a little splash of rum or whiskey in the mix... however you'd like to flavour it. You can also change the garnish however you like. Crumble up peanut butter cookies instead of chocolate cookies. We love the crunchy texture of the crumbled cookies, but you could also garnish with sliced strawberries or whole raspberries.

Also, we are under 50 subscribers away from 1000! Thanks to everyone who's been watching, subscribing, and sharing our videos. Please spread the love to anyone you know who wants some fun recipes to make at home!

Moroccan-style Preserved Calamondin Recipe

Maybe a little offbeat this week! We have a little calamondin tree on our patio (in the living room when it's winter!) and it's a very pretty little tree that produces these little tiny fruit that look like mini oranges. We decided to find out if they're edible, and they totally are. They're important in the cuisine of lots of Southeast Asian countries (and we discovered they make a great gin and tonic in place of a slice of lime!). More information on them here. When hubby ran his restaurant, one of his guiding principles was to use only local ingredients. He bought as much as he could from within the city (Toronto has several farming co-ops that will sell to restaurants), and from the province. There were a few concessions, of course. Coffee and tea for instance. However, he stuck to his guns when making his hummus in-store. Lemons are not a thing we can buy locally in Canada, but we had all these lovely little citrus fruit just growing in our living room. So, he tried preserving them Moroccan lemon style, and he used that as the citrus in his hummus. It was excellent!

So, here's the simple procedure for this. It's just salt and citrus, super simple. If you don't have calamondins available, you could also do this with any thin-skinned citrus fruit like Moroccan lemons, key limes, or even kumquats. It goes well in hummus, salad dressings, marinades or anywhere you need a citrus zing and some salt!

Passion Fruit Mousse Recipe

So, this week was a more desserty sort of recipe! We made this amazing passionfruit mousse. Our original plan had been to make a fruit mousse one week, and a chocolate mousse the following week, because they are significantly different processes, but we're in the middle of a move right now, so we've had to change plans! The chocolate mousse video will be soon, but please note that our videos will be a bit different going forward! The major change will be that we are no longer using a gas stove, as our new apartment only has an electric range

However! This is a delicious recipe, the mousse has a very subtle flavour of passion fruit, nicely complimented by the tart and intense flavour in the jelly. We like to have a few of the seeds from the strained pulp in the jelly because they're pretty and they are completely edible, adding a pleasant crispy texture to the otherwise smooth and creamy dish. We tasted the juice that we were using for the jelly after heating it, and adding the cognac, and it tasted just like Jolly Ranchers. So delicious!

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Homemade Blister Peanuts recipe

Another peanut recipe! Last week boiled, this week fried! So, hubby loves blister peanuts. They're crispy and salty and really excellent, plus peanuts have a nice low glycemic index, so it makes them a great snack for him. But they're actually pretty tough to find in stores around here. He used to snack on them a lot growing up in Houston, but they're not quite as widespread here in Ontario. We do have access to raw peanuts though, so we thought we'd figure out how to do them ourselves! turns out, it's easier than we thought.

So, for the initial soaking, don't salt the water, because the salt will denature whatever oil you're using. Season them just after they come out of the oil, and add whatever flavours you like. We just salted ours, with a very nicely fine ground salt, but you could use any sort of flavouring. They'd probably be delicious with curry or Cajun seasoning! As for oil, you can use any high smoke-point frying oil, like canola or grapeseed, but we had peanut oil on hand, so we used that! Does that make these confit peanuts?

Anyway, be very careful with the peanuts in the oil. They cook very fast, and they don't show a whole lot of colour until they start to dry and cool. They definitely take under 4 minutes, and depending on how toasty you want them, under 2 minutes!

Boiled Peanut recipe

So after a few weeks of pretty complex stuff, we've gone right back down to basics this week. This is a delicious and simple snack or appetizer. We're doing the very most basic version of this recipe that you can do, just salt and water and boil. If you want to add different flavours to your peanuts, it's super easy to do that by adding stock instead of water, dried pepper pods, whole spices, bay leaves, etc... to the water you're boiling them in.

Cajun-style Red Beans and Rice

So, after last week's enormous pot of gumbo, this is the last Cajun food you'll see from us for a while, I promise! But this is the side dish we served with the gumbo, and it's classic Cajun-style red beans and rice. Like so much of Cajun food, the flavour profile is based on Holy Trinity (onions, bell pepper, and celery) which is the Cajun equivalent of French mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery). And even though this recipe has a lot of ingredients in common with the gumbo, it manages to resist being samey, and comes out as a great complimentary side-dish to the big rich and flavourful gumbo.

The type of beans you use can be your favourite, it doesn't need to be kidney beans. If you like pinto beans, use'em. Likewise, the aromatics can be switched around a little in this. My hubby (the chef for all of our videos), doesn't particularly like bell peppers (they give him terrible acid reflux) and also finds green bell pepper particularly boring or insipid in dishes like this, so he replaced one of the bell peppers in the recipe with a poblano pepper. You can also adjust your seasoning however you like at the end with Tabasco, Worcestershire, or more Cajun seasoning like we used in the gumbo. Also, if you can't get andouille sausage, a nice flavourful sausage of your choice will work well in here. Anything from kielbasa to chorizo!

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