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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, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 2,880

Journal Archives

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Homemade Concentrated Soup Base (plus chicken noodle soup) Recipe

Soup season is coming up! Temperatures are dropping and everyone wants that warm comfort food. This week we're doing what is essentially a homemade soup base concentrate that you can turn into lots of different kinds of soup. It's got all the same basic recipes of any other soup base (with the addition of leek and potato), and comes out quite thick. To make it into soup, all you need to do is add more stock and whatever ingredients to want to go in that wouldn't freeze well. So, we added roasted chicken, tomato, and zucchini.

It's very much an easy plug-and-play recipe. You can just toss whatever ingredients you want in to fit your flavour profile. The concentrate stores very well, and you can freeze it to keep it fresher longer. It's not an ideal soup base for cream soups, but it is very versatile.

Classic Creme Caramel Recipe

A couple months back we did a kind of caker cheater flan recipe that uses condensed milk and evaporated milk. It's super easy and comes out tasty, but the final result is a little firmer and springier. This week we did the classic creme caramel, based on the Julia Child method. We've also scaled it down (as we've been doing with a bunch of our recipes) so that if you don't have an army to feed and you just want a few servings, these recipes will work. This one comfortably made 3 servings.

We did, however, still cheat on the caramel. The difficulty for us with the caramel is that we no longer have a gas range in our new place. Because we're on an electric stove with the coils, the heat is not super even in the pot, and it makes caramel making a lot trickier, and leads to a lot of crystallized sugar! When one side is getting heated faster than the other, it's far more likely that you're going to end up with a hard crystallized mess in your pot. So, we did this cheat where we mixed golden corn syrup with a bit of molasses for the caramel, and it worked extremely well.

Homemade Ketchup Recipe

So, we went a little basic this week! It's fresh fruit and veggie season here in Ontario, so we went to the farmers market and got some great fresh produce including some (mostly ripe) field tomatoes. Lots of flavour, and really great looking too. When you have too many tomatoes, there are lots of ways you can store them over the winter such as tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, or by making your own ketchup!

I'll be honest, we don't eat a lot of ketchup (because the store bought stuff is boring!) but this stuff has so much flavour that it's much more interesting to eat on things. Store bought ketchup tends to be just a bit to sweet and vinegary for us, but this method allows for lots more flavour in the final product. Another way to do this is to heat up the whole spices in the vinegar to make a sort of tea before adding it, but this method works for us and provides a bit more depth of flavour. You can also much more easily control the sugar when you make it at home.

If you use the USDA safe home canning method as we did here, this product is shelf stable and doesn't need to be refrigerated until after you've opened it.

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Stuffed French Toast recipe (with "peaches foster" sauce)

So this week we're going back to brunch. We made a goat cheese stuff french toast, and a beautiful peach sauce (very similar to a bananas foster) to go on top. Gotta love peach season! We cribbed a bit from our own Cajun French Toast recipe (Pain Perdu) but made a few alterations for this recipe. It came out extremely well, nice and fluffy on the inside, and the goat cheese was nice and melty, making a great sour contrast to the sweet and rich custard soaked through the bread.

Peach season is in full swing here, and it's been hot in Ontario, so it's hard to pass up using some amazing peaches in a dish like this. They're extremely flavourful, a little bit tart, and really hold up to the sugar and butter in the pan. For peaches, a little splash of bourbon or whiskey is preferable to rum, in our opinion, but please follow your own tastes!

Of course it is not necessary to use goat cheese. Any kind of cream cheese would be fine here, and you could also replace it with something like mascarpone or even a nice double cream brie. Just make sure you portion and freeze your cheese to make getting it into the pocket of bread a little easier.

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Homemade Creme Brulee Recipe

A little bit back to basics this week! This is just a straight up basic crème brûlée based on the Julia Child method. We've scaled it down a little so that it's really only three servings, just in case you don't have an army to feed and you don't want to tempt yourself with all of that extra dessert! The recipe scales very well, and it's easy to just make three servings (two if each one is -very- generous).

We've basically done a bunch of custard videos all at once, though one of them didn't quite work out. We'll circle around and try that recipe again in the future, but you can see hints of it in this video.

It's easy to change the flavour profile of crème brûlée just by changing the flavourings that you use in the scalded cream. We popped a little segment of vanilla bean in there, and it made for a lovely rich vanilla flavour and all of those delightful little vanilla pips in the final product. You could also switch it up and scald the cream with a piece of a cinnamon stick, a couple of hole cloves, and a couple of allspice berries for a pumpkin-spice sort of flavour, or use some cardamom and star anise for different effects in the final dish.

Omelette Dijonnaise Recipe

Sort of an interesting one, this week. Also, this is one of my recipes that my hubby (the actual chef) improved a little in the end. Years ago, I was watching a Food Network show that had this amazing recipe for something called a Tarte Dijonnaise, which was a pâte brisée crust, a spread of dijon mustard, then filled with a mixture of cooked tomato and onion, and topped with Gruyère cheese. It looked amazing, and I decided I was going to turn it into an omelette (I was really big into omelettes at the time). It is a little bit of extra work, and even if you make it without the mushrooms takes two pans, but it is really delicious.

There are lots of ways you can switch this one up, as well. Shallots may be a little more "traditional" than onion for this recipe, and the mushrooms are entirely optional. You can also sprinkle some capers on top of the tomato mixture before you cover it with cheese, and the herbs used can be modified to your personal tastes as well.

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