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Murkey Recipe for Christmas

Adapted from Ruth Goodman's recipe on Wartime Farm my recipe for Murkey.

Alton Brown taught us that stuffing is evil. He awkwardly and half-heartedly rescinded the blanket prohibition against putting bread inside your bird with a well-if-you-really-must episode that involved a pre-roasting turn in the microwave and then a cloth bag and then in to the cavity. That doesn’t sound fun to me, does it sound fun to you? (more…)

Rice Bran Oil

About a year and a half ago I ordered a book called Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work that has become one of my staple cooking references. Their recipe for cold-smoked fried chicken sent me on a bit of a wild-goose chase for rice bran oil because at that time it wasn’t carried very widely in Toronto grocery stores. The Hansells Group and their Alfa One brand of rice bran oil is now working to change that.

From the preview event they held a couple weeks ago at the Sub Zero & Wolf Showroom in Toronto I took home a sample of the product. They were demo’ing examples of the oil used for sauteeing, baking, in a salad dressing and as part of the sauce for Thai curry mussels and everything tasted but I wanted to test the oil out at home.

Eggplant fritter frying in rice bran oil.

Eggplant fritter frying in rice bran oil.

On our trip to Spain last April we managed to develop a low-level addiction to fried eggplant fritters with honey. Since we’ve been back we’ve made them at least once a month. Most recipes like the berenjenas con miel in Claudia Roden’s The Food Of Spain call for soaking eggplant slices in milk, dusting them with flour and then frying in sunflower oil. Because the coating is so light and the other flavours are so neutral this seems like an ideal situation for a side-by-side test. (more…)

Green & Black’s and Pangaea Restaurant

Green & Black's Pangaea 1

Ten courses at lunch. All with chocolate. Cooked by Chef Martin Kouprie and his team at Pangaea Restaurant. You know what? There is absolutely nothing there that I can complain about.

Obviously, I was happy to be invited to Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate extravaganza but I have to admit I went in with a bit of skepticism. Chocolate has a pronounced, sometimes bitter flavour. It’s fans are so devoted–eyes open wider, mouths salivate more possibly only for bacon–that it can sometimes be stretched beyond its comfort zone. New packaged food items need to break into the all-important bachelorette party market with something-and-chocolate parties, after all. (more…)

Smoothie for a Glutton

Twenty years ago, Jim Harrison wrote that “one of the main causes of death is fretting about your diet.” Wise words and I hope to avoid sailing too close to the wind as I offer what I think is the healthiest recipe in my repertoire.

Restaurant openings, new menu launches, and food truck competitions offer delicious slabs of pork belly, cheese-covered bread, and deep-fried everything but can leave something to be desired nutritionally and digestively. This is the breakfast smoothie I make the day after my consumption of food (and drink) has blown my recommended daily calorie intake out of the water by two or three times. (more…)

Cooler Corn: A Better Way to Corn on the Cob

Cobs of corn in a beer cooler ready for boiling water.

Update: You can find this recipe — along with about 75 other beer-related gems — in my new cookbook, The Canadian Craft Beer Cookbook.

Every summer vegetable has its season and devoted fans. But peas, asparagus, or zucchini don’t get nearly as much cooking technique attention as corn does. Whether it’s what goes in the water–salt, sugar, and milk are all called for in different recipes–to how long passes between picking the cobs and when they hit boiling water. My newest method simply involves immersing the corn in boiling water inside a standard cooler and that got my attention both because it’s more convenient and more delicious. (more…)