Friday, September 30, 2011

Fish.Chips.Pea (Fish chips and mushy peas)

Fish chips and mushy peas (frozen pea puree)

Reverse engineered fish chips and mushy peas. Well not exactly. But if you are looking for something different then take a look at this dish

Frozen pea puree is added to potato and haddock. The pea puree is placed in the center when frozen. The 'fish cakes' and then placed in the fridge for 30 minutes until the pea puree begins to melt.

The pea puree is simply frozen peas, some seasoning and a little stock, it is then placed into a special spherical ice tray where they are frozen to form cool balls of frozen goodness.

Once the fish 'cakes' are removed from the fridge, they are lightly floured, then dredged in a batter made from rice flour, white flour, vodka, honey and beer. Beer is placed in last, the mixture is lightly whipped then placed into an iSi cannister, and injected with Carbon dioxide. This is then placed into the fridge to chill for 30 mins.

Once they are dredged in this batter mixture they are fried in clean vegetable oil at 350 Fahrenheit for about 6 mins until crisp and golden brown. The batter is actually taken from the mad food scientist that is Heston Blumenthal

Here you can see the pea puree is in the center. The best thing about this dish, is it is refined, and you get a more full flavour in each bite. I would serve it as a second course, maybe two 'cakes' each - not forgetting they are in fact round.

These fish chips and mushy pea encapsulations are just awesome. My Canadian fried made some tartar sauce which we served it with. Here in Canada it is not common to have 'mushy peas' with fish and chips, rather tartar sauce is the defacto option - but he loved the combination. The flavours work well. In other fish related dishes you will see pea puree such as cod fillet, or halibut maybe. So not 'that strange'. In England however you will find mushy peas on more or less every fish and chip shop menu.

Fish chips and mushy peas. Who'd have thought!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

eHow sucks

This site seems to be everywhere in Google, yet the content is terrible, some form of search engine pollution?

Sage Vodka, Rhubarb Vodka, Mandarin Vodka

A Trio Of Vodka

Made fresh using Stolichnaya aka Stoli

Can't wait to try the Sage and Mandarin Vodka. I have tried the Rhubarb and it is delicious. I made a few drinks with this one called Rhubarb and Custard which is listed below. All are made with fresh ingredients, and the taste is pronounced - I intend to make a nice cocktail with the sage and mandarin.

The Rhubarb one took two weeks, sage will be just a few days to impart the sage note. Mandarin has fresh mandarin juice and peels, pith removed.

Rhubarb n' Custard Cocktail

2oz Rhubarb Infused Vodka
1 oz of Advocaat
Dash of Rhubarb Bitters

Shake all on ice serve in a stemless martini glass.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Barchef Toronto Review

So a recent trip to Toronto was fun which brought about a visit to one of Toronto's latest bars entitled 'Barchef'. Barchef is located on 472 Queen Street West, in a darkly candle lit establishment. Serving a variety of cocktails from $10'ish up to $45 for some smoked aged and rare Manhattan which is smoked with real wood chips right in the place.

The bar is the best place to sit to see all the action, which is subtly lit with a lot of candles, which intertwine amidst a range of syrups and bitters.

The bar itself is pretty cool, not too big - quite small actually with seating scattered about. It is a cosy and dark affair with nice ambient touches like a TV that plays some old black and white movies (on mute) while either minimal techno, or some DJ spins. I guess the music varies depending on the night you go, I went on a Saturday night and it was pretty busy. I did manage to get a seat at the bar, where I went about imbibing a few cocktails. I did want to try something 'molecular', but apparently they had stopped serving these as it was too late - or something.

I do remember trying one named 'Peat', which as listed on their website is: Islay Scotch, cinnamon infused sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, cynar soaked sugar cube, absinthe rinse and a lemon twist. This drink was tough to drink, definite sipping drink, think it took me a good 20 mins to digest it.

There were a couple more cocktails I tried, some 'newly fashioned' - a play on the classic cocktail the 'old fashioned'. This was good but not mind blowing, with some addition of house made cola bitters.

The problem to me seems to be that you are getting slightly different experiences depending on which bartender serves you. The guy in the picture is one of the owners, and he was making drinks for guests in the back - Drake in fact.

I like creative drink making, and Barchef would be one of those places you should check out if you are looking for something a little different from your cocktails.

Next time I will try the molecular drinks/amuse bouche.

Eating Clean or Clean Eating

I love food, but you need to have balance in what you imbibe. If you can manage a burn body fat and eat well you are on the right track when it comes to overall health and nutrition.

Modern buzzwords include things like eating clean. What does this mean exactly? Pretty much eating pure forms of food with no preservatives or additives. You can subscribe to this magazine and find it in local stores.

People often get confused with eating healthy and eating boring. Most times it is just a matter of learning new things to do with the same proteins.

Certain principles apply when eating clean, don't deep fry unless necessary, you can bake instead. Although proper frying techniques should only crispy the outside, don't cook in tons of crap oil or butter. Use quality ingredients, organic if possible with no pesticides etc.

Buy eggs without antibodies, or hormones, don't drink pop (maybe San Pelligrino) is fine, avoid pasta and white bread (ok to some degree), and don't eat sugary cereals.

Now having said that I am ok with eating some of it sometime, but just don't consume all that all the time.

Eating clean is a good way to maintain both low body fat and a healthy body.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb Cooking Instructions

This recipe is incredibly simply and delicious total cooking time is around 30mins.

First of get the ingredients ready:

Rack of lamb for two
Few sprigs fresh thyme sticks removed
Few sprigs fresh rosemary
Small bunch of fresh curly parsley
Djion mustard
Cup of white breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of parmessan cheese
Olive Oil

Cooking method:

Heat a pan to medium high, score the skin of the meat in a cross hatched fashion with a knife - brush lightly with the oil, then after seasoning both sides of the rack of lamb, place into the pan, the meat should sear upon contact. You need to put some colour on the meat, once this is done, transfer to the oven at 400F or 200c for 15 mins.

While that is cooking, throw all the other ingredients in food processor and blend until powdery in texture.

Once the lamb has been in the oven for about 15 mins, remove and brush all over with the mustard then dip like a sherbet lolly into the herb mix, once well coated transfer back to the oven and cook for a further 15 mins or until the herb has developed a crust and looks browned slightly.

Let rest before carving for a few mins.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two Urban Licks Atlanta

Not too long ago I had had the opportunity to experience Two Urban Licks, a restaurant owned and operated by the same people that operate One Midtown Kitchen and Trois. Self referred to as ‘spicey American food,’ Two Urban Licks offers a diverse menu that changes on a daily basis, and provides delicious seasonal dishes with options that actually replenish gluten-free bellies.

Two Urban Licks on Urbanspoon