Food With Legs Rotating Header Image

November, 2011:

Essential Pepin: Chocolate Mousse

The chocolate pistoles I used for Jacques Pepin's chocolate mousse.

My first two experiences with recipes from Essential Pepin, the composed salad and tarragon chicken, have been easy walks in the park. Maybe just because I’m not really a dessert guy that was not the case for the chocolate mousse.

Don’t get me wrong, the result was delicious and brilliantly chocolate-y, but the texture just wasn’t right. Picture chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks or a very loose brownie with bits of fudge. It’s tough to complain about either of these but they’re still not a smooth, integrated mousse.

With a Google search I’ve found that some of the other bloggers who have experimented with Essential Pepin have had similar results. This post on Dinner with Julie demonstrates what I was expecting and shooting for while this one on Baking in the ‘Burg is closer to what I got. (more…)

Porky Christmas Nuts

All the ingredients for making pork fat Christmas walnuts.

There are two really good reasons to make candied, spiced nuts this year. First their ratio of effort to ohhhs and ahhhs is really low. One pot, ingredients in at once, and short-ish cooking time–it’s a recipe even Rachel Ray couldn’t screw up. Also, they’re much less messy than whole walnuts. You might think that a heaped bowl makes an excellent decorative piece but then some jerk (like me) will get it into his head that it’s a good idea to start cracking nuts by hand without really considering all the shell shrapnel.

Definitely candy your nuts instead.

The idea of adding pork fat (you won’t really taste it but it does add a meaty richness) came from Graham Pratt chef at the Gabardine via this piece on the Grid’s website.  The technique is generally adapted from the Jacques Pépin recipe for the nuts in the composed salad recipe from Essential Pepin. (more…)

Ultimayo 500: The Ultimate Homemade Mayo

I’m a regular reader of Kenji Alt’s Food Lab column on Serious Eats. With this great recipe for homemade mayonnaise from a post in early October Kenji continues to deliver the goods.

None of the usual bs of slow drips of oil while balancing a giant metal bowl on your lap and whisking with the other hand or trying to manage the barest, steady stream through the feed tube of a food processor. All the ingredients go into a container at once, they settle for a few moments and then an immersion blender is put to work magically turning them into mayo. Every time.

Anyone who publishes or posts a recipe for homemade mayo that uses the food processor (or even worse the bowl-and-whisk) method deserves a stiff dose of public shame and a life of sandwiches made with the foul-tasting Miracle Whip. (more…)

Golden Gluttons: Go Mobile

Last week I had a post recapping a lot of what we ate while in San Francisco. This one is going to cover everything from food trucks, market vendors, and anything that was in any way street food.

During our five days in SF we managed to fit in two of the Off the Grid food truck events. Friday night 27 vendors (truck and tent) gather in a parking lot at Fort Mason, a former army base that has been repurposed as community space and would be familiar to Torontonians as having the vibe of the Wychwood Barns on a scale and in a space like the Distillery District. (more…)

The Golden Gluttons

We’re just back from five fantastic days in San Francisco. Obviously, we ate as many meals as we could stomach and here are some of the highlights. I’m going to spread this over two posts. Post one will be all the food we ate from establishments with walls and a roof and the rest (trucks, carts, and market vendors) will go into the second post.

San Francisco is one of the best food cities in North America and therefore one of the most visited and written about. Not much of what I have to say here is new ground, I know, and we’re very grateful for all the suggestions we got through Twitter friends Eric, Lauren, Renée, Natalie, and so many others. Thanks, guys. (more…)