Riddle me this

January 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm (Food)

Made waffles for New Year’s day. (Well, day after, to tell the truth. Something about a hangover. Let’s not go there.) Buttermilk waffles, more exactly. With some home-cured pancetta, of course.
The problem with making buttermilk waffles, unfortunately, is finding the buttermilk itself. Granted, you can always go to a major grocery store and buy a liter of the stuff (did you know that its name in French has changed from “babeurre” to “lait de beurre”?), but then you’re usually left with about 50-75% of the stuff after you’ve made your waffles. Thankfully, I’ve got a great murgh makhani recipe that uses it up, but then that requires planning for making both recipes within a short period of time.
There is also the option of making your own butter, which would leave you with some buttermilk afterward.
Ah, but here’s the riddle: the waffle recipe requires both buttermilk and butter, which are derived from heavy cream. Couldn’t I simply make the recipe with only cream instead?

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I would sooo subscribe to this feed

April 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm (Food)

If only Gordon Ramsey

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Mmmm, waffles and bacon

April 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm (Food)

Breakfast of champions

We’ve gotten into this slightly strange craze of, whenever we go to Loblaw’s, picking up some of their gadgets. We’ve gotten Henckel knives, an immersion blender (way cheaper than the Cuisinart piece of crap that I unfortunately bought for too much coin last year), organic cotton baby clothes, a kettle with shiny lights, etc., etc. Anyhow, I had had my eye on a Belgian waffle iron for awhile, and succumbed to my desires last fall. I don’t make waffles too often, about once a month, and we usually invite folks over to have these with us because, even halved, the recipe below delivers just too much goodness for one seating.
Bacon, of course, was home-cured. Happily Michael Ruhlman confirms that immuno-suppressed folks like myself can get away with enjoying this salty goodness. Granted, I have a biopsy next week, so we’ll just find out about that, won’t we?

Belgian Waffles

Modified from various recipes.

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups buttermilk*
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar

* I never have buttermilk hanging around, nor do I feel like paying for a litre and having to throw out half. So, to make a quick buttermilk substitute: mix 2 cups of milk with 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Set it aside for about 5 minutes. Voilà.

Heat oven to 250°F.
Beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Beat in milk, butter, and vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and add to the liquid, beating well.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until you get stiff peaks, and fold (carefully) into the batter.
Make the waffles according to the iron’s instructions. BUT! Here’s the trick, after each one is done, place it in the oven, straight on the oven rack, for about 5 minutes. This crisps ‘em up beautifully, while leaving fluffy goodness inside.

By the way, no waffle iron? No problem. This recipe also makes great pancakes.

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Mmmm, peas and carrots (redux)

April 9, 2008 at 1:14 pm (Food, Food porn, Uncategorized) (, )

Yes, I’ve made these before. Now, I’m not going to try every recipe in the French Laundry cookbook, like a certain blogger, but because we’ve hit our stride with this dish, the milliner has me make it for her as often as she can figure out a reason to do so.
So, having made these several times, there really isn’t any reason to add another post about it. Oh, except for this:

Happy fun time with peas and carrots

I swear, I didn’t plan for this to come out like a happy face, but I do enjoy the look. Also, because of the little bun in the oven, I used chives rather than pea shoots. No need to add E. coli or salmonella to the meal.

Oh, and because we had already introduced Frances to crustaceans, it was only fair that we do the same thing with Daisy (Daisy Adair).
Still life with lobster and boxer

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Pregnancy cravings

April 3, 2008 at 6:03 pm (Food)

It finally happened. After 30-cough cough cough-years, the milliner finally broke down and had her first ever poutine. I’ve been trying, though not really applying any real pressure, to get her to try that cholesterol bomb for years, and on Holy Friday, she finally agreed. So, off to La Banquise we went. And no, we didn’t see a film crew with Anthony Bourdain there.

Poutine

I think she liked it.

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Mmmm? Dog biscuits

February 7, 2008 at 10:25 am (Food) (, , )

dog biscuits

Got this recipe from the latest edition of Ricardo‘s magazine. I can’t help it, standing at the check-out, needing something to read, some of the recipes look kinda good. Oh, and the milliner seems to get weak at the knees whenever she sees his picture. Me? He kinda creeps me out, in a very undefinable way.
Anyhow, I found this recipe and, lo and behold, the dog sure does like ‘em. Mix together 3 parts whole wheat flour, 3 parts corn flour, 2 parts chicken stock, to 1 part peanut butter and 1 egg. Roll out, cut into shapes, and cook at 350F for 20 minutes. I tried as much as possible to use organic.

It’s kinda sad, however, that we have to bribe her with these dog biscuits in order to get her to eat her regular (and not entirely inexpensive!) food.

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A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat

February 6, 2008 at 6:27 pm (Food)

Now, I’ll admit that we make the occasional foams at home, that I’ll deconstruct my Croque madames or Cesar salads, heck, I’ll even use gelatin sheets on from time to time.
However, even I can appreciate this view on molecular gastronomy.

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My Last Supper

December 13, 2007 at 3:25 pm (Food, Personal)

There’s a book out there, called My Last Supper, which compiles what some of the top chefs out there would like to have as their last meal, and with whom they would like to share it. I haven’t read it, so can’t comment as to its worth. On the whole, however, I find the concept disingenuous. Oh, sure, if we assume we’ll find ourselves on our last night fit and hale, then yeah, I can see the point. You want to eat something you love, something to have made it all worthwhile. And, truthfully?

  • Croque madame, with a side order of spring greens, topped with pomegranates and champagne vinegar.
  • Onion soup on the side. White onions slowly confit’ed in butter, at low temperature, to bring out the sweetness. A broth of home-made chicken broth. Sourdough croutons. A (heavy) mixture of Gruyère and Emmenthal almost blackened on top.
  • Tarte tatin for dessert. Maybe topped with homemade ice cream. Egg yolks and cream. Hello, I’m dying, why not?

But the thing is most folks don’t get the chance to prepare for their last meal. I remember back in 1994, while he was touring in Europe, that Kurt Cobain had overdosed and, upon coming to, requested a milk shake. “Fucking poser,” thought I back then, “couldn’t it have rather been ‘a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat’?”

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, my words and thoughts came back to bite me in the ass. It’s true, I have the scars to prove it. Almost two years later or, to be exact, twelve years ago yesterday, I awoke from a biopsy that had gone horribly wrong, certain that I would never see the morning. I hadn’t be able to eat properly in weeks, but that night I was starving. It was the one thought in my mind: I want this meal.

And what was that meal?

The #4 trio from McDonald’s. In other words, the quarter pounder with cheese, fries, and a root beer (I’m not a big Coke drinker).

Fuck me.

I begged and pleaded. I never did get the meal, but my brother (I believe) went down to the cafeteria and got me the equivalent. It took the rest of my energy to eat it, and took about two hours. It just wasn’t the same thing.

I thought of going to get the trio last night, as an anniversary gift, but I could just couldn’t stomach (pun intended) the idea.

Burgers and fries. Who knew?

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Pass the salt

November 26, 2007 at 11:18 am (Food, Food porn)

What I did yesterday.
Non-paid plug: I got my pork from Porc Meilleur, at the Jean-Talon market. Hormone-free, it’s called ecological. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it’s as close to organic as you can get without paying the organic price. Oh, and they also scraped the nipples off the pork belly for me, which I kinda appreciate.

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Cannelés

November 21, 2007 at 3:59 pm (Food) (, )

Cannelés

A week or so ago, on one of those food websites where everyone shouts their opinions on the best place in town, someone brought up the subject of cannelés, if anyone had heard of them, what they were, where to get them, etc. Wikipedia has more info here. Ignore the pompous tripe at the bottom of the article.

I remembered making them a few times, but hadn’t since we moved, mostly because the moulds were probably still unpacked. Dug out the recipe, dug out the moulds, and posted the recipe on said website. Of course, having posted the recipe, I figured I should make some myself. These are really easy to make, and they fit perfectly with my style of cooking, i.e. I mix together a couple of ingredients and ignore it for a day. Add the other ingredients, and ignore for another day. Easy as, well, cannelé, because I can’t make pie.

Cannelés

  • 2 cup milk
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 250 g sugar
  • 125 g flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Frangelico*

Bring the milk to a boil, add the butter and refrigerate. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, egg and sugar. Blend in the flow. Mix well and add to the now-cool milk mixture. Refrigerate overnight.
Fill the cannelés moulds 3/4 full. Cook at 355F for 1 hour 15 for large moulds, 50 minutes for small moulds. You could also use muffin tins, I guess.
* The original recipe calls for rum, but because neither the milliner nor I like rum, I use Frangelico. There always seems to be a bottle around, and we’re not going to drink it otherwise. You could also use Amaretto, but we save that for our pain perdu, aka French (freedom?) toasts.

This recipe will normally make about 12 large cannelés. “But Hickory,” you ask, “I only see five on the plate. You haven’t already eaten seven of them, have you?”

Um, no, my cannelé mould produces seven of them, originally eight but the dog ate one corner of the mould (she has a thing for plastic). Anyhow, Monday night I made a batch and put the rest of the batter in the fridge. Left for work yesterday, and covered the remaining cannelés with plastic wrap. I got home last night and noticed the empty plate.

It took a second or so before I realised what had happened. It took the dog’s stomach until 3 in the morning to realise the same thing, and to rebel. Nothing like walking your dog in the middle of the night because she has the runs. Because she ate my desserts!

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