A little less tang

This just in week nine we cook up some beef stroganoff and frankly when F cooked off his I was like ” Wow on the tangy” I did not like the level of tangy with my beef. So I decided I shall change and that’s how I learned another great lesson.

Now F started off by saying this would be a fast class. He was right we flew right into it with making veal goulash, never had veal goulash and frankly I decided to try some toss my beliefs aside and  I wasn’t missing much and would continue not eating veal. F was playing with fire by showing use using the oils from the meat and pan how to make a fun fireball. My former pyrotechnic disapproved but my six year old self got excited. Now the veal goulash F was blasting his way through clearly had some where to be or maybe he was just that fast and had no idea how to slow down maybe he worked like clock work said the same thing every class never changing unless someone tossed a wrench into the works. I really wanted to ask him how pop tarts work but I’m saving that for the end of class.

Oh yeah the goulash: cook meat, toss in your tossed veggies, let them cook for a little bit toss in your demi glaze and then place in a oven and let cook for 30 minutes.

Now he moved on to the  spaetzle which my brain had a sudden shock of images flooding my mind  of Matty Matheson from supper time ( A great TV show). Now this is where you have a special grader that has a rolling square tube on top where you put dough inside of it and grade the dough over boiling water to fall into a pot and make pasta, awesome. This not only cool but a serious mess. Still once F pulled the little tear drops of salty dough out I couldn’t believe how much it puffed up. It really explains why our ancestors thought of bread as a magical food.

Now the event of the evening what we be making beef stroganoff, now we got cuts of stewing beef and F was talking about cutting against the grain. Which reminded me of my carpenter days and how I always heard ” CUT AGAINST THE GRAIN GOD DAMMIT”. I was happy F said to take it slow because when I was cutting my meat I was like ” Need to sharpen this knife or I’m going to the ER a second time. Cut the meat into little frying strips and then fry them up fast in butter and oil. F said the hardest part would be controlling our heat on high and not stirring our beef all the time and he was right. The second I got my beef in the pan I wanted to swish it around like I use to swish my drunk ass around Banff. This time I held back taking it easy on the meat and drinks I’m 30 gotta get my act together. While my beef was frying I had a chance to help O with scooping her stuff into a container. She just made her sauce without the beef and had to go.

Now back at my pan I only moved by beef twice and placed it in a bowl with paper towel to absorb oil. Once again F hit home leave your oil and fat in the pan don’t waste, cook with it and damn did I ever. Tossing my onions, mushrooms and few gherkins I wanted less tang remember. I dropped my demi glaze in and let it simmer. It was only 8pm! Normally at this point we be at the finally steps at 9pm and I had most of my stuff cleaned. After the right amount of time for my sauce to simmer I pulled it off the stove taking it to my table. Now it’s important that you don’t mix your Dijon sauce, sour cream on the stove top. Reason it will cause your sour cream to curdle, now once your sauce is a nice chocolate cream colour add your cooked beef. You also don’t add it on the burner because it will toughen your meat up.

Now the moment the Mass Effect moment do I add the lemon juice in the end like F said or do I do my own thing. I stared at my pan unsure what to do. I tend to follow instructions my training as a former tech and safety inspector called for it dammit but here I stand on the edge of flavor unsure what to do. I took a spoon full and tried it without lemon and fiddle sticks be damned I liked mine more than F. So I took my lemon home and did not juice.

By the time I got my food home and showed Shoe she said ” Where are the noodles?” I stared up at her with confusion ” Um what noodles?” Her ” This dish is suppose to have noodles its one of my favorites” I looked down at the dish with a well I be damned. You really can change it all up in cooking you can learn the techniques and decided to destroy and recreate the recipe. I choose not to add the lemon for my taste profile and George brown clearly decided to cut budget and said ” Forget these noodles you got a ton of beef!”

I’m learning now with cooking rules are a guide line once I understand I can rearrange them in different orders and make something new.

Now the adventure really begins.

497 Shoe good but Spicy

First dish from Tiffin Shoe said I have to make again, so yeah that’s a win! Third time is the charm.

The dish I made was from Northern Indian , Vegetarian section, its origins are Uttar Pradesh and this dish it self is Bhunne Aloo. A dry roasted potato dish with a hint of garlic.

What I’ve been enjoying about this book is how it’s gotten my out and about hunting down ingredients. Today my adventure took me to the lovely Kensington market where I ventured to  House of Spice.

House of Spice doesn’t look like much when you first walk in but walking your see it’s full of everything you will need well if you need spices and some other items. I enjoy the  different packet sizes. I was picking up small packs of cumin seeds, dried mango powder (amchoor), ground coriander  and red chile powder and each pack only cost me $2.50! Also while knocking over a ladder with my bag I found the mustard seeds oil I needed, so I was in hogtown heaven!

Even with the cold wet weather of Toronto my spirit was fired up from finding everything I needed, I went to Film Café Restaurant by Eative to get a freshing cold drink of lychee chai tea ICED! Needed to cool myself down.

I got home and quickly began chop chop chopping my potatoes. Began to heat up my mustard seed oil waited till it got hot. I added the cumin seeds in first like the book told me to, the book made me do it! I waited for the cumin seeds to make a lovely cracking sound. Make sure it’s on a low- med heat I nearly burned mine! Adding the potatoes next followed the other spices mixing it in and slowly letting everything crisp up. Shoes shouted ” Smells good in there babe”

Now I had to cut some garlic up and put it in warm water and sprinkle it on the potatoes. I was unsure if this was after they were cooking or right at the end when they we’re about to finish. So I added it right before I pulled them out of the pan.

Making this wasn’t to hard I felt I had to be more patience and wait for everything to crisp up.

Shoe gave her approval and that’s what really matters when the person you’re cooking for enjoys their meal.





A catch!

While not working at my cheese job I work at a fine international food store.

I was trying out some foods and decided to write about it. Items I had never seen from pickled peppers, chutney, canned fish and so many salts.

Today I was up at my cheese job thinking how all I had was some rice and kimchi for lunch, I wanted a little more.

I decided to head down to my other market job and pick up a can of Bar Harbour naturally smoked wild kippered herring. The package is what caught my eye. Its fun,simple and clean here see for yourself!

See isn’t that fun reminds me fresh breath of cool air and look natural omega-3!

Now I’m not a fish guy but I’m trying I wanna see what hooks my taste buds.

Now when I first opened the tin I was shocked by how much was in there. Three meaty herrings I think for the amount alone it was worth $6.99 Canadian.

I stuck my utensil right in expecting some toughness but none it feel apart like a good plan after a few drinks.

Now once again not a fish guy but when I placed it in my mouth I became a fish guy. The freshness the cold water I understood what the package was trying to tell me. The smokiness almost made it sweet despite having no sugar. It made my bland rice and kimchi pleasant lunch.


Cooking class week eight, I’m back in action everyone my stitches are out. This week we roast a chicken , make onion and sage dressing and zucchini provencal.

Now fun fact before class I always get stressed out this week I was like ” What if I under cook the chicken and kill Shoe and I, what if I start a fire what if I cut myself” Normal thoughts I have in my head that normally causes me not wanting to go to class. Even now as I write this blog I am full of worry but I always say press on and this time the words must press on!

Now once I get into the thick of it I begin to relax, once I’m in the chaos of it all I shine bright like a diamond.

Now today F was showing use a bunch of items we started off with how to get the chicken ready for the oven. He said not to wash fresh chickens because it gets bacteria everywhere. He showed us how to truss a chicken. First toss some pepper and salt up it’s butt before you tie this bird up. Next under it’s butt place your butcher twine then cross it now under the legs cross it again. Over the top and do a half hitch around the wings being on the underside of the chicken now tie it tight. Now toss some salt and pepper and oil your bird! Make sure to tie it first before oiling it up or well it may turn into a runaway chicken! Place in a pot upon a bed of carrots and celery. Now this wasn’t to bad I mean my chicken was missing this little nub on it’s butt I believe it’s some form of tail that makes it easier to tie the chicken down BUT I use to be an expect in all matters of knots and ropes so a flick of the wrist and I had that bird oven ready.

Now back at the table F cracked out some liver and bread while our birds cooked in the oven. The onion and sage dressing I had no idea had liver and bread in it till I read the list. I was confused till F said it was just another word for stuffing because it wasn’t inside something. My mind exploded! Anyway F said to blanch the chicken livers because it removes the blood and it gets ride of that metal taste. Which now makes a lot of sense blood has iron, this is what I do in class when F is talking sit there feel like a secret of life has just bee unlocked for me when it should have been clear!

Now in a pan toss your chopped onions let them sweat a little, toss that liver in but not to long. Now get your day old bread which kinds of bugs me I gotta buy bread and wait a day for it to get old not really that long if you factor into how long the universe has been around but maybe I could open my own company call it day olds! Anyway we mix the onions, liver, sage, into a big bowl. Start putting the eggs in to act as a binder in eggs we shall be untied! Slowly pour your chicken stock in  but not all of it! Mix it all nicely together but make sure not to add all your stock if you add to much it won’t bind and it will pool on the bottom. Once it looks like solid mass place inside a tray has been buttered and fill. Place in the oven and you will know it’s cooked by it’s crispy top and by pressing on the middle if it feels hollow. Which is tough what does hollow feel like, I know what it sounds like but feel I guess when I bake it I shall know.

Last was the zucchini provencal which wasn’t anything special in my mind. Cut some onions, garlic and zucchini put in a pan, toss some herbs and canned tomatoes and cooked off it was good and easy!

Best part of the evening was when I pulled my chicken out stuck my tongs up it’s butt and tipped it over and let the juices fall out and they ran clear! What this means is your chicken is cooked if you tip it over and it’s still bloody then put that part back in it ain’t cooked. You can also cut where the leg meets the thighs and if you can’t see pink your good or check it’s temperature 172 fahrenheit. Check it in the breast but don’t go to deep and hit the bone, the bones are hotter than the meat!

Now that bed of carrots and celery don’t toss that out I don’t like to waste never waste food. We cooked our sauce in the same pan as the chicken was in while in the oven lets make a sauce! Turn up the heat on the stove top let the fat at the bottom of that pan cook off for a second pour your stock in let it heat up and continue to add wine, herbs and ether flour or corn starch to thick it up and now you have a lovely sauce with veggies that had been cooked in chicken fat. Waste nothing use it all something died so you may continue onward you needed use everything. Someone worked hard to grow those veggies waste nothing.

It was a fun class and I had a great time till next week all!



Sorry had a fall

Sorry about not posting last week I took a nasty fall and landed on something sharp and it cut my leg open. I’m ok had the whole Er ward laughing but this is why there was no class post, cheese post or weekly cooking post. This week though I shall get back into it. As I am all better now.

Thank you and have a lovely day.

Number 498 some chicken.

Hey sorry I was sick all weekend and couldn’t make my weekly Tiffin dish till today. I decided that when I do recipes from Tiffin I will be jumping from section to section. Meaning I started with appetizers in north Indian and this  week I am cooking from poultry and eggs but still in north Indian. The dish I made is  Kali Mirch Ka Murgh a black pepper chicken dish and I mess it up.

Now how I messed it up well I used a massive  yellow onion instead of a red. What this resulted in was to much in the pan. I also used chicken thighs instead of breast =. The reason for this I had it on had and wanted to use it up. Now how did this mess up the recipes simple I had to use my wok to fit everything in and then use more chicken stock causing it not to reduce enough turning my dish more of a soup. Now Shoe said it was good nothing great but not bad.

Now I chopped everything up the garlic, onion, squeezed my lemons making sure no seeds would get into my mixture dragging it down further into the depths of my shame! I pulled my chicken out cut slits into, so it would broke down and cook easier like the book said. I tossed it into a bowl and rub a mixture of lemon zest, garlic and lots of black pepper. This is another simple recipes not much required but I missed it up anyway.

See I began to cook my garlic till the beauty of it’s smell filled the room added the chopped potatoes to the skillet. Now it said cook the potatoes till they begin to get soft. Now I kept cooking these potatoes what I assumed was soft enough for a fork to puncture. I was right.

This is where it all went wrong I put the onions and green beans into the skillet it was not all going to fit we had reached critical mass failure failure failure so I moved it all to the wok that was Shoe suggestion. I added the chicken now this is where I messed up again! The recipe calls for half cup of chicken stock, I added that and it barely filled the wok so I added the whole 1 liter and now I had a massive soup like mixture because it would not go down! I let it simmer till the chicken broke apart.

Like Shoe said it was good not bad but not great. I will get it next time what I learned this time is a course follow the recipe!


Who are the five brothers?

I actually don’t know who the five brothers are but I know of the five brothers cheese made here in Woodstock Ontario. Its a delightful cheese made by a cheese maker who has study all over.

The five brothers is a washed rind cheese when you bite into this cheese it reminds you of a gouda but also a cheddar and a swiss oddly enough.  When you first see this cheese it looks like a big rock made be a prop builder. It cuts just like butter and when you open it up the pasta looks just like butter. Within the prop rock contains a buttery secret. Take a bite of this cheese it’s a mouthful that your happy to choke down. When you smell it your reminded of melt butter that has slightly cooled now getting thick again but not there.

When you bite into this cheese you notice

Salt: Medium that carries

Sour: A little bit of sour on the at front

Bitter: None to be found

Sweet: Medium that dances with the salt

Umami: Big at the end as you choke on it

Now the five brothers has a rocking  brothy meaty secondary flavor, as you chew this cheese you notice it breaks apart like a gouda and turns creamy in your mouth like a cheddar I would say the flavor more reminds me of Swiss cheeses.

When picking a cheese pick the brothers.