This goes in your fridge, then it goes in your mouth


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This! Is not a pickle.

Inspired by pintrest post and eventually finding the recipe on Recipes We Love, I tweaked the recipe… I know, but you use what you have on hand.

Also if your preference for one type of ingredient is more than the other, go with it. Try it out. Get messy. As Neil Gaiman said, Make beautiful mistakes.

This is 2 sliced english cucumbers, 1 red onion, and one green bell pepper. 2 cups of rice wine vinegar, 3/4 cup of cane sugar, and for the spices…

Red Chili Flakes, Sesame Seeds, Sea Salt, Celery Seeds. I toasted them up a little in the pot before adding in the sugar and vinegar. As soon as it was all mixed up and came to a really low rolling boil, I dumped in a couple of handfuls of ice cubes to chill it down immediately. I could have added in whole peppercorn, but that will be for the recipe for pickling.

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I consider this to be a vegetable brining, and according to the website, the veggies will be good for 2 months. I got a little taste of the brine and cucumber while creating… and this will be a very good burger topping. As of 24 hours, it’s got a very good heat and flavour profile, reminiscent of a bread and butter pickle, but with more character. North American cucumber kimchi?

The lovely Laura McWriter put it in her salad. So, why not! Added arugula and spinach, little bit of shredded coconut, some shredded cheese, some chicken breast… mixed and it’s really damn good.

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Anyone else try out recipes and tweak them just a little bit?

Cheers!

This goes in your mouth


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Pineapple chunk with sugar, salt, and chili flakes.

Such a tender morsel. Such a simple combination.  Such insidious flavours that only make you crave more.

Pineapple chunk. Dipped into a combination of sugar, salt, and crushed chili flakes. On a stick.

Want to make your own?  Look up asian recipe for prik glua.

Enjoy!

Food Hack : Green Onions


Green Onions. Scallions. Spring onions. One of my favorite topping for so many meals. Toss some on salad, soup, dips, sandwich, eggs… So very versatile. Only problem is getting them fresh.

Green Onions

Green Onions

Solution, get about 8 of them, cut up, then grab a water bottle. Fill it up, then toss it into the freezer. No more throwing the soggy wilted spoiled ones.

Tacos! (Now with writing!)


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Such a simple combination. The sizzle of the corn tortilla in the hot frying pan. A small burst of aroma from the fresh ground spices and meat. Watch the pan location, watch the heat. Watch the corn tortilla relax a bit.  Take that one side and gently fold it over the top.  Move the taco a little, check the browning on the underside. Gentle now. Do that careful little flip. Hear that new sizzle and smell that rich tortilla embrace the pan. Feel the stiffness of the tortilla and giving that little loving tap tap. That little bit of cheese that has melted.

You can’t help but smile.

Oh yeah, that little bit of cheese. It’s food cleavage. It’s there, and no one else is watching you. So you can’t stop looking at it. That delectable teeny morsel. You want to just get it, right there. That little bit of crackling right off the pan. But if you wait, that bit of crunchy cheesy goodness will make the entire taco experience amazing.

Sexy comfort food. Tacos.

I’m still here,

Pearce

 

P.S. I’m going to try and smoke some of the leftover taco’s on the grill. If there is any after the night that is.

We Call Them Food Misdemeanors, Not Food Crime


I know its been a while since I’ve blogged. I have been busy. I know that is no excuse for not writing here. Except for oscar picks… which I lost the bragging rights to.

On with the foood! I had a brainstorm earlier this week, recalling a conversation and making a combination. Apparently the best burger combination includes 80 percent beef, 10 percent pork, and 10 percent lamb. Combinations there of can be tweaked as per recipe and who is cooking it. Personally, one of the best burgers I’ve ever had was ostrich. The beef and pork combination got me thinking about how to apply it with chili. Then it hit me.

Bacon.

I started off with white mushrooms sliced, one green pepper, one large jalapeno pepper, some diced tomatoes and onions, and 10 slices of thick cut back bacon. Add some oil and slow simmer in pan to get things going. I let this combination cook for a couple hours in my ultimate gigante frying pan, cast iron, porcelain coating. Couple of hours on low did the job, then… overnight in the fridge.

Then into the slow cooker first thing the next morning with brown beans and some hamburger. Stirred up every 4 hours, finally finished up after 14 hours for… Ze uber chili.

The jalapeño brought out more of a bold juicy flavor that countered the onion flake that in the herb and spice mix. The beauty of cooking chili longer is that the flavors mellow and blend. I push for 10 hours on slow cooking. Some say that cooking chili that long maybe overdoing it. I say the blending of the flavors makes an extremely different meal each time you cook it.

Plus I was really busy and slow cooking rocks. Put everything in, come back and stir at 6 hours.

Next time, I think I will do the equivalent of a half/half. Beans, hamburger, chili + spices, and chocolate stout cooked up. Then an hour before serving, just stir fry up the bacon, jalapeño, onion and then deglaze with harp ale. Mix it up… now that’s a food misdemeanor.

I’m still

Wait! BONUS! Since it’s been so long since I’ve blogged in a while, might as well do another great post on cooking.

Ultimate French Toast via Nutana Bakery.
Basic recipe for french toast… which isn’t french cooking at all. One of the original recipes calls for stale bread, wine, orange juices and sugar, which is leaning towards an interesting bread pudding in my opinion.

Two different styles of french toast, dessert style with vanilla and regular style for ultimate sandwich making. Dessert style involves sweeter combinations like powdered sugar, favored in the southern states of the US. Or skip the sugars and vanilla, just use bread and egg and then place slices of smoke ham, turkey, and swiss inbetween two slices for a Monte Cristo sandwich.

But my preferred, style of french toast is getting a cinnamon loaf from Nutana bakery. Per slice of bread, one egg, and just enough milk to coat the yolk.



If you are in Saskatoon, do stop by Nutana Bakery and get one of their double chocolate doughnuts. It is truly a brilliant art they perform there, some of the best baking you can find in western Canada.

I’m still here, burp,
Pearce

Broadway Cafe


The Broadway Cafe in Saskatoon is one of my favorite places to eat. It reminds me of the small town diners that haven’t updated their decor, but still deliver food that satisfies deep hunger. You find a lot of these across the prairies, but in the middle of broadway district amongst specialty shops, you’ll find the place. Great for a quick meal, hot drink, and in the summer the milkshakes are the best. Weekend brunches are a very busy time, recommend the huevos ranchero burrito or the eggs benedict special. Also be on the lookout for Professor Awesome, a gentleman in his 60’s or 70’s with the best goatee a guy could ever achieve in a lifetime.

But for a biting cold January evening, there was a small crowd inside, slight frost on the windows and entrance doors. Valentines decorations are already up around the retro cafe. Neon and chrome along the long counter in the back. Kitch decorations of Elvis, Marilyn, James Dean adorn the walls. Music playing 50’s from satellite radio, waitress with tie-dyed hair wrap is singing along under her breath,’Put your hands up and Shout’. Memories of the Blues Brothers movie bring a smirk to my face, it’s been a good day.

I’ve already devoured my breakfast burger (slices of ham, fried egg, swiss cheese) and delicious cubed fried spuds. Tempted to get a coffee for an after meal drink, but caffeine this late does not help my insomnia. Tempted to get one of the famous milkshakes, I’m good with my mint tea and water. My daughter being a slower eater is thoroughly enjoying all of her food, including the bacon which she was craving earlier. I should learn from her habits, but old ones are hard to break. She does have a method of peeling off the top layer of a pancake which may sound gruesome, but is definitely tasty.

Usually when we are out, people are surprised to find that she is my daughter, she looks more mature for her age. All I see is my kiddo. Preparing her brown toast, she stares intently at a small package of peanut butter and one of jam, almost manic look on her face. Holding them up to her eyes she looks back and forth between the two plastic packages.

Me, soap opera voice : Doctor, what have you found?
Kid : One is deeper than the other… weird.
Me : Fascinating, did you use… the science?
Kid : Ba-Hoo-wha?

Both of us crack up at the sound of the mixed up words. When we finally get it togther, I go on to explain that in B movies sometimes would actually skip over the explanation of how things work, by calling it ‘The Science’. Or just satisfy a question like how the raygun is going to stop the lava… and it will because the main hero is a SCIENTIST.

I nudge her again with the line…

Me, soap opera voice : Doctor, did you use the science?
Kid : Uh-HUHHAA!

More silliness and laughter ensue. We both get looks from our outburst of obvious silly fun, but we don’t care. It’s not what we’re doing, but how we’re doing it. By having fun. And Broadway Cafe is a great place to make memories.

I’m still here,
Pearce

Christmas! Food Misdemeanor! Silly Wrapping!


Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Happy Ho Ho! And whatever you celebrate!

I have many amazing hats.

As usual, the food fest for Christmas was huge! But I got a little creative on the wrapping for gifts.

Ho Ho Ho! It's Santa Time, Bitches!

And more…

Ho Ho Ho! Look at my enormous sack!

And another…

Ho Ho Ho! Stand back! I only come once a year!

It’s true… Santa has an enormous sack and he only comes once a year.
(Just remember, 32 percent of people suffer from a dirty mind, the other 58 percent enjoy it.)

Tree!

Tribute to saturnalia and walls of plants everywhere...

 

Unusually full of decorations this year. Usually my mother goes for the simple decorative version, elegant, but this year, everything was loaded up, including the antique birds from 2 generations back. Somehow, it balanced and didn’t come across as gaudy or overdone.

And now onto the Nom-Fest of Food Misdemeanors!

Warning : Carnivore friendly pics ahead.

The usual slice of coldcuts, but with a little more care…

Chunks of Ma’s garlic roast chicken, ham sausage, smoked ham slices.  All ready for devouring with fresh baked buns.

Which lead to desserts and Veggies! Round 2 of stuff that was brought out…

More food... will it ever end?

Photo courtesy of Tim Holtorf, check his stuff out at the following websites. WordPress here and Tumblr here.  Home made poppy seed and lemon loaf, plate of desserts, chocolate chip cookies, PICKLES! veggies and dip, and…

Enough shrimp to choke a lower suburb of smurfs.

 

Now onto the really fun stuff!

Deceivingly good, and spicy hot popcorn.

I call this popcorn insidious… deceiving, and almost too good to feed your children. My mother made candy popcorn by melting butter, sugar and corn syrup together, then lightly drizzled it over the popcorn. I know, not that interesting, so what… it’s just candy popcorn right? WRONG! She dusted the popcorn with finely ground cayenne pepper. And that addition makes a world of flavor difference. The heat and spice from it makes you want to get another shot. The sweetness of the sugars plays off the heat.

 

So very good… but as per a high protein household has, I cannot omit the inclusion of the bacon.

So much goodness right there. Hotter jalapenos this round, must be from a different batch.

And a variation from a Kraft recipe.

The original recipe called for blue cheese, almond slices wrapped with bacon then baked. I could see how this would work for a single taste with a really good red wine to counter the taste… but in other testing of this version, it was “Like eating hot mould that ruined a good piece of bacon.”

So the variation above was brought up, with the maple bacon, the inclusion of honey or syrup is a natural progression. So the maple bacon was wrapped around honey date, but it seemed too sweet and needed a tangy counterpart, the addition of 5 year sharp cheddar stuffed into the date made the absolute perfect combination. Bake and watch as these are so small you could almost get away with prebaking the bacon, then using the hot pan to heat through. Smaller than the size of a golf ball, all you need to satisfy flavor crave is one or two of these AMAZING morsels. Can substitute maple bacon for smoked bacon if the honey and maple doesn’t suit your tastes.

And so with last nights food fest came to a close. Late night as well, talking about other things. More Christmas moments including my stepsister complaining to her father about his threadbare shirts and how it was nice to have a Christmas without having to see his nipples. Also the inevitable end of jokes about Uncle Joes Mint Balls.

And hence after all that, food hangover… We didn’t eat all of it, there is a lot of leftovers, enough for a week.

This morning, I ran my daughters backpack over to her, got a hug (best christmas present out of all the swag I got) then got back home to have my coffee in my DAD mug, enjoy my new Pook and start the recovery from last nights foodfest. Tonight, it’s rumored that there will be beef wellington… I must nap this afternoon.

Coffee in Dad mug, Pook, and Food Hangover

Oh yes, I’ll be doing a lot of geocaching on foot in the next few weeks. As long as the weather holds out. So be on the lookout for new blog postings…

One more blog post for the year, and it will be a little different, so stay tuned!

I’m still here. To you and yours, I raise my mug,
Burp,
Pearce

Food – Taco feast


A long time tradition in my family is to have these taco feasts. These are the same types of feasts that the lords of Rome would have hundreds of slaves scouring the countryside for food and bring them into a large pile, gorge themselves, then go to the vomitorium, then repeat.

Well… not exactly like that, but there is mass consumption of tacos.

Out at the lake there is a cabin, all afternoon long, there would be preparation of corn tortillas, hamburger, cheddar cheese, large baking sheets of these tacos all nicely laid out. Like yummy bundles of crunchy carb wrapped goodness.

I got a craving for them, and never prepared them myself, only in the mass consumption. So off to the grocery store I went. Here’s what you would need to complete your taco feast… short 3 or 4 retired nurses who like to cook way too much.

1 small package lean hamburger
1 package CORN tortillas (12) These should be about 7 – 8 inches in size
1 can beans
1 lettuce head
Salsa and Hot Sauce

Brown up the hamburger, add pepper and salt, sprinkle some chili or chili flakes. Now in the other frying pan, (yes I do this, to make sure you read the whole thing first before going ahead and cooking like madmen) you want to get a teaspoon of oil heated up per tortilla.

Put the corn tortilla in the hot oil, add some hamburger, sprinkle some cheese on it. Now watch it. As soon as the sides of the tortilla start to curl up, you want to flatten the taco over into half. Squishing it in half actually help harden up the sides.

NOM

Corn Taco

Apply even pressure to help cook

So imagine if you would, 2 large cast iron pans on medium heat, frying up these tortillas for a couple of hours. And it doesn’t take a long time to get them fried up. Have a baking sheet at the ready with some paper towel. That will suck up the extra oil that will be on the tortillas. If you are making these in mass quantities have 2 at the ready. One with paper towel to rest, and another to put on a pan to keep warm in the oven.

Tacos resting after a hard days work in the frying pan.

Just like that.

So then, it’s time to plate up your own.

Voila! Arriba! Tacos!

Of course by this time, once I had this already to eat, I wasn’t hungry, as I had been tasting and sampling and snacking all afternoon long… They are still good for leftovers.

Food misdemeanor activities for next time I’m doing these :
Sunflower oil with jalapeno infusion for frying up the tortillas. Extras to add onto it, fried green and red peppers, smoky beans, more salsa and hot sauce.

I’m still here,
Pearce

Next food coming up… Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Oh yeah, this is food too good for your own children

Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Beer Review – Czech Mate – Paddockwood Beer BONUS Food Misdemeanor


Huzzah! Behold! Food AND drink porn!

Not bad for an improv food misdemeanor

Tonights selection for supper, includes a really good piece of cod and sushi from Charlies Seafood Market. (Located next to Mystic Java, 8th and McKercher.) The cod took really minimal time on medium low heat on the grill. Did a quick little spice rub/coating using rye bread croutons, onion flakes, paprika, chili flakes, black peppercorns, seasalt and some flour. Done on the upper grill, keep an eye on it. I couldn’t find any decent peaches on the way back.

Yes, I said it. Peaches.

I’ve had it before, and the addition of a slice of peaches on cod, is an amazing combination. If it is fresh from deep fryer for fish and chips, make sure the peaches are really cold. The sweetness of the fruit and temperature difference will be able to bring out amazing flavors in any piece of cod. Try it out once, life is too short.

The sushi from Charlie’s is consistently good, great selection for quality that is offered. Smoked salmon with cream cheese, oyster, and octopus. Little drizzle of soya sauce, couple dabs of wasabi, and it is flavor time! Salad is my usual mix of baby greens, croutons, sunflower seeds and russian salad dressing. Because I need to eat more greens, and it works better color wise for the photo.

Onto the beer! I thought I had done a review of the Czech Mate, but I have not. This is an excellent summer beer for those looking to quench their thirst. Those looking for a basic lager will be confused at the complexity of this czech style beer. Slightly cloudy on pour, bright golden hues, tiny bubbles, and really small amount of head. This maybe due to what I’m reviewing are not recently brew. I’ve found that Paddock Wood beer gains extra flavor and mellow tones if you allow the beer to sit for a while. Like a month. Keep it cold and in a dark place, and you will be amazed at the result. Little less on the carbonation after this amount of time. The body is lessened and is not as filling as the recent brewed or fresh from keg. Sharp on the front, mellows out with a hint of the citrus hoppy tartness on the backend which is a signature of Paddock Wood beer. There isn’t much to improve on this. Overall, another good beer from Saskatoon brewers, try it out when you find it.

I’m still here, still up for tasting new beers, trying out new recipes,
Pearce